The Catcher in the Rye - Holden and Jane
Analysation of Chapter 4

Chapter 4 of J. D. Salinger's novel "The Catcher In The Rye" deals with Holden and his roommate Stradlater sitting it the bathroom while Stradlater is shaving. Stradlater wants Holden to write him a composition and Holden vaguely agrees. Then, all of a sudden, he starts tap dancing and imitates a musical until he experiences, that Stradlater is going to have a date with Jane, a former friend of Holden. He goes on repeating, he should "at least go down and say hello to her", but doesn't even move. He remembers Jane Gallagher as a vulnerable nice girl, who liked to put the kings all in the back row, just because they "look beautiful". Stradlater isn't interested at all, till Holden mentions Jane's problems with her stepfather running around naked, what maybe is supposed to be a hint that he abused her, but we don't really get to know. Because he is a "sexy bastard" Stradlater is interested in this, but Holden just concludes, that Jane had got a bad childhood, what again annoys Stradlater. Holden is sitting on the washbowl and thinking of Jane for a while, then he follows Stradlater back to their room. After Stradlater is left, Holden admits to be "so nervous" he "nearly went crazy". We don't get a real prove, whether this shall mean, that he is worrying like she was his sister or that he feels love for her. My personal opinion is, that this relationship is a strange mix. Holden admits to be a "sex maniac in the head" but not to like the idea. I can't imagine, that he is that opposite of Stradlater. But she seems to be very important to him, if one gets to know, how long he is just sitting there and thinking of Jane. And he tries to beat up Stradlater, who is about twice as big as Holden, because of her. Maybe he just isn't able to decide, whether to get in sexual contact with her or to remember her weak and innocent, just like his little kid sister. Nevertheless, he can't get over her, the sensitive girl he knew, dating such a womaniser spending half his life in front of a mirror. What we can interpret now, is that he is afraid of changes, because he hasn't got the courage to only say hello to her. I think he fears to destroy his ideal image of her. In the text one can see, that they haven't met since the one year and a half. Possibly, he doesn't just worry about Stradlater to "give her the time", but as well about Jane to do that voluntarily…

von silent_water88

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