How does Holden reject professional ambition and adult sexual and intimate relationships in The Catcher in the Rye?

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Holden seems to sabatoge his future professional ambitions by flunking out of prep schools and running away from his family's and brother's legacies.  In particular, Holden calls his brother D. B. a prostitute for pursuing screenwriting instead of short story writing.  In addition, he rails against nearly every working adult in the novel, calling them "phonies."  Indeed, in the post-war economic boom, American seemed to have lost its identity, forsaking morality for crass consumerism.

The only adults he respects are the nuns and his former teachers (Old Spencer and Mr. Antolini--and even they judge him).  So, only the nuns remain as Holden's paragons of rebelling against professional ambition.  Only they have the courage to drop out of society and its materialistic pursuits.

Holden forms intimate relationships with only girls who are younger than him, his sister Phoebe and (formerly) with Jane.  He has sexual and intimacy problems with those his age and older because he cannot reconcile sex and friendship.  Hormonally, Holden is quite imbalanced here.  As an adolescent boy who has just grown about six inches in one year, his body is going through a flurry of chemical changes that cause him emotional distress.

shaibi | Student

Holden is a horny guy lets just say. And due to the loss of his brother, he has become rather gloomy lately(as i you were reading it. He also lye's.

shaibi | Student

Holden forms intimate relationships with only girls who are younger than him, his sister Phoebe and (formerly) with Jane.  He has sexual and intimacy problems with those his age and older because he cannot reconcile sex and friendship.  Hormonally, Holden is quite imbalanced here.  As an adolescent boy who has just grown about six inches in one year, his body is going through a flurry of chemical changes that cause him emotional distress.Holden seems to sabatoge his future professional ambitions by flunking out of prep schools and running away from his family's and brother's legacies.  In particular, Holden calls his brother D. B. a prostitute for pursuing screenwriting instead of short story writing.  In addition, he rails against nearly every working adult in the novel, calling them "phonies."  Indeed, in the post-war economic boom, American seemed to have lost its identity, forsaking morality for crass consumerism.The only adults he respects are the nuns and his former teachers (Old Spencer and Mr. Antolini--and even they judge him).  So, only the nuns remain as Holden's paragons of rebelling against professional ambition.  Only they have the courage to drop out of society and its materialistic pursuits.he so horny

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The Catcher in the Rye

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