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What are some problems that Holden faces during The Catcher in the Rye?Please refer to...

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katy97 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 3, 2012 at 5:32 PM via web

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What are some problems that Holden faces during The Catcher in the Rye?

Please refer to adolescent issues for example crime or homelessness or substance ebuse. 

Do state the situation the narrator is in and how he reacts to the problem and how that problem was resolved.

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cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:58 PM (Answer #1)

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One major adolescent issue that Holden faces in the novel is dealing with his sexuality.  Near the end of the book, Holden assumes that Mr. Antolini is trying to make a sexual advance on him, and he says that these types of things have happened to him many times before.  It is unclear whether Holden means that he has been molested in the past or whether he has received advances by other males in the past.  In either case, the experience with Mr. Antolini makes Holden uncomfortable at the moment when it happens (Holden later considers that Mr. Antolini was just being affectionate towards him because he felt sorry for him).  Earlier in the novel, Holden also displays his inexperience with women.  Even though he talks a great deal about making out with girls, when he invites Sunny to his room, he does not have sex with her.  He claims that he realized he was not in the mood, but he often says this to cover up his true intentions (he also used this line to get out of speaking to Jane when she went on a date with Stradlater).  Holden is still caught in his desire to go back to his childhood, so his adolescent sexuality is an issue that he is not prepared to address.

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