The Catcher in the Rye Questions and Answers
by J. D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye book cover
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What is the significance of Jane in The Catcher in the Rye and why doesn't Holden ever try to reach out to her?

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Jane Gallagher is the only girl that Holden is both physically and mentally attracted to in the novel and is depicted as a genuine girl with a difficult home life. Holden raves about Jane Gallagher's friendly personality and is excited to speak about their friendship when Stradlater tells him that he is taking her on a date. Holden is clearly attracted to Jane and is even protective of her when he discovers that she will be going out with Stradlater. Holden fears that Stradlater will put the moves on her in the back of Ed Banky's car and is greatly disturbed when he thinks about Stradlater being alone with Jane. Holden also mentions that they used to play checkers together and even recalls a tense moment when Jane's mother's boyfriend made her cry.

Unlike Sally Hayes , Jane is an authentic, flawed individual, who seems to generally understand Holden. Unfortunately, Holden is reluctant to contact Jane about his difficult situation. He continually...

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