The main reason Holden gets into a fight with Stradlater is that he is in love with Jane Gallagher and consequently jealous of Stradlater. Holden understands and appreciates Jane, as shown by the fact that he writes about her many times throughout his book. He knows that Stradlater is too much of an egotist, too much of a sexual predator, to appreciate a nice, sensitive, vulnerable girl like Jane. Holden feels protective and somewhat possessive of her. He knows exactly how Stradlater is going to behave with her when he gets he in the car, and he doesn’t know whether Jane can cope with such an aggressive and experienced young man. Holden’s strong feelings about Jane are revealed by the way he starts a fight with an opponent he can’t possibly beat. Stradlater is rather stupid. He can’t even understand why Holden should be angry at him. He thinks Holden must be a little bit crazy. Nobody can really understand Holden very well, with the possible exceptions of Jane Gallagher and his little sister Phoebe.