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Like any adolescent, Holden fears many things about life. He is afraid of what he hasn't experienced yet, but he is also afraid of turning into someone else. He is on a journey of self-discovery that every one must go through to determine not only who they will be, but how they will behave and what choices they will make for their lives. Holden is close to graduating high school and making college and career choices--that can be quite scary! For all of the little things Holden says that he is afraid of, he is really afraid of facing reality and his future. Some things that Holden mentions that he is afraid of are:
1. Jane Gallagher's affiliation with Stradlater- "I pulled the peak of my hunting hat around to the front all of a sudden, for a change. I was getting sort of nervous, all of a sudden. I'm quite a nervous guy"(34).
2. Information about Jane from Stradlater- "I was so damn worried, that's why when I really worry about something, I don't just fool around"(40).
3. Fear of Blood and Gore- "It partly scared me and it partly fascinated me"(45).
4. Stradlater's Influence over Jane- "Most guys at Pencey just talked about having sexual intercourse with girls. . . but old Stradlater really did it"(48).
5. Thoughts of Sex- "Sex is something I really don't understand too hot"(63).
6. Conflict with Enemies- "I don't know. I think maybe I'm partly yellow and partly the type that doesn't give much of a damn"(89).
7. Seeing Anger- "I don't mind getting hit so much. . . but what scares me the most in a fist fight is the guy's face"(90).
8. Actual Opportunities for Sex- "I was a little nervous. I was starting to feel pretty sexy and all, but I was a little nervous anyway"(92).
9. Becoming a Phony- "If you do something too good, then, after a while, if you don't watch it, you start showing off"(126).
10. Fear of Facing Reality- "Here's my idea. How would you like to get the hell out of here?"(132). Not only does he ask Sally to run away with him, but he keeps planning to do it even after she says no.
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