Holden has a complicated relationship with girls and women that threads throughout the novel. There are the girls he wants to protect, such as Jane Gallagher, a family friend with whom he enjoys playing checkers. She falls into the category of girls like his little sister, Phoebe, who need to be guarded from the world's predators. Therefore, when Holden finds out his roommate, Stradlater, a smooth talker who seduces girls, is taking Jane on a date, Holden becomes agitated:
I kept thinking about Jane, and about Stradlater having a date with her and all. It made me so nervous I nearly went crazy.
By the time Stradlater comes back, Holden is so upset he gets into a fist fight with him, which leads to him leaving Pencey in the middle of the night for New York City.
However, Holden also longs for a girl as a romantic partner he can share his life with. Even though he thinks she is an insufferable phony, he invites Sally Hayes on a date in Manhattan. His conflicted thinking comes out when he sees...
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