In J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield expresses extreme conflict throughout the novel. What specific incidents would best illustrate conflicts he experienced with other...

1 Answer | Add Yours

literaturenerd's profile pic

Posted on

Outside of his extreme internal conflict (with adolescence and change), Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, faces much external conflict. External conflict is classically categorized as the conflict one faces against man (mankind or society), nature, or the supernatural.

Close to the opening of the novel, Holden engages in a fist fight with Ward Stradlater (man versus man). Stradlater is upset that Holden wrote the essay he (Stradlater) asked him to write about a baseball glove. After Holden tears up the essay, he and Stradlater begin fighting.

Another physical fight that Holden gets into happens when staying at the Edmont hotel. After a suggestion is made by the elevator operator about getting a prostitute. Holden thinks it is a good idea and does it. Afraid after Sunny (the prostitute) shows up, Holden pays her half of the 10 dollars and asks her to leave. Her pimp, Maurice, returns with Sunny later. Maurice pins Holden to the wall while Sunny takes five dollars out of his wallet. Maurice flicks Holden in the crotch and punches him in the stomach.


We’ve answered 327,659 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question