What does Holden want to talk to Carl Luce about in "The Catcher in the Rye"?Carl calls it "a typical Holden Caulfield conversation."

Expert Answers
mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the conversation with Luce, Holden reveals much sexual confusion.

Here's the scene's major points:

  • Luce is an older, college student who goes to Columbia; he's similar to Stradlater from earlier chapters; Holden is secretly jealous of these men
  • Luce used to talk about famous "flits" (homosexuals)
  • Holden suspects that Luce was gay
  • Luce is currently dating an older, Asian woman
  • Luce says he prefers the Eastern view of sex over the Western one: the former values a spiritual and physical connection, while the latter stresses the physical too much.
  • Luce tells Holden to go see a psychoanalyst; Luce himself gives him psychoanalytic advice.
  • Holden has previously rejected psychoanalysis: "my lousy childhood" and "that David Copperfield crap"
  • Holden is drunk and feeling sexy.
  • Holden is "I'm so lonely I could die," which echoes Huck Finn's "I'm so lonesome I could die"
  • Luce leaves Holden because the conversation is beneath him: Holden looks physically old, but he is still mentally immature.

 

Read the study guide:
The Catcher in the Rye

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