Growing Up and The Cure to Loneliness - J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in The Rye"

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Engulfed by sexuality in every direction, Holden is consumed with the same raging hormones of most red blooded sixteen year olds attending an all boys' school. In J.D. Salinger's, "The Catcher in The Rye", Holden Caulfield's attitude and comments prove that sex is a prevalent idea in his mind, but he also reveals that sex is insignificant to him unless it is with someone significant. Holden is a virgin, but unlike most boys his age, does not exactly welcome sexual relationships as they do. Throughout the novel, Holden continually finds a way to flee sexual situations. His opposing attitude toward sex conveys that Holden seeks love in union with sex, and also realizes that sex with out a real fulfilling relationship will not cure his loneliness.

Holden's complex involves a need for consistency that will eventually lead to identity. Although sexuality is a constant, the ideas surrounding it are not.

Regarding sex, Holden states that, "You never know where the hell you are. I keep making up these sex rules for myself, and then I break them right away." (63) This is a prime example of Holden's feelings of being lost, not only to sex, but also in relation to his daily life and who he is. His feelings portray a good model, one that depicts that at sixteen years of age, it is normal to feel uncertain of who you are, just as he does. The latter is a good illustration of his lacking value of rules and authority. He clearly has little regard for rules; and belittles them with ease, even his own. Holden proves that he does not care about the rules with his belief that complying will only cause conformity to adulthood, something he makes an obvious attempt to escape from.

"Anyway, something...