Lindsay Wray, Hannah Bourke, Brittany Laton,
Chelsea Rankin and Madison Leigh
Thesis
 Throughout the novel, Holden longs for intimacy with
other human beings in his various relationships with
women.
Jane Gallagher
 Holden’s relationship with Jane is different than his
relationships with any other girl in the novel. Holden
truly loves and cares for her. Unlike Holden’s
relationship with Sally, Holden is true with his love.
Because he is in love, the intimacy in their relationship
is stronger.
 Their intimacy is also different in that it is more of a
loving and supportive intimacy, unlike Holden’s
relationship with Sally, which is all about physical
intimacy. Holden only holds Jane’s hand and is there to
comfort her when she is upset.
“Boy, I nearly dropped dead when he said that. ‘Jane
Gallagher,’ I said. I even got up from the washbowl
when he said that. I damn near dropped dead.”
(Salinger, 31).
- Holden and Jane’s relationship was ‘imaginary’ in a
way. They spent one summer together and then never
each other again. Jane is Holden’s first love. Holden
feels a strong intimate connection with a girl he hasn’t
seen in a long time. Jane is the symbol of true love and
lust.
Sally Hayes
 Holden’s relationship with Sally is that they’re kind of
friends with benefits. They are not dating or in love
but they like to have fun together when they see each
other.
 They have more of a physical intimacy because they do
only goof around and don’t really connect on an
emotional level.
“Sally Hayes is a pretty, friendly, loud girl who likes to eat
ice cream, see matinees, and show off her cute butt in
“one of those little skirts.” (Salinger 124)
-Sally is the type of girl that Holden dates just for
rebound to get over Jane. He doesn’t genuinely like her,
he just wants somebody to take out. This quote proves
that Holden only likes her based on physical attraction
and for her looks rather than her personality.
Phoebe Caulfeild
 Phoebe is Holden’s little sister. They have a very close
relationship and she is one of the few people that
Holden completely trusts.
 They have more of a brother-sister intimacy and they
are able to connect on a personal level.
 “ She’s very good in spelling. She’s very good in all her
subjects, but she’s best in spelling.” (Salinger 160)
 “You should see her. You never saw a little kid so pretty
and smart in your whole life. She’s really smart. I mean
she’s had all A’s ever since she started school.”
 -Phoebe represents innocence and purity. She is sort of
like a symbol of an idealistic person in Holden’s eyes.
He looks up to her as a role model.
Faith Cavendish
 Holden and Faith do not really have a relationship
because Holden just calls her and never actually sees
her or talks to her in person.
 Faith doesn’t necessarily reject Holden but she tells
him “not now” and hat she was unhappy about the
hour Holden called.
 Faith started out angry with Holden but eventually
they got into a real conversation.
“It was the address of this girl who wasn’t exactly a
whore or anything but that didn’t mind doing it once
in a while, this Princeton guy told me” (Salinger, 62)
- Holden is all alone and is feeling a little frisky so he
pulls out a phone number of a girl he met at a party,
Faith Cavendish. Holden asks Faith if they could get to
together but it was too late at night and her roommate
was sick.
Sonny
 Holden requested that Sunny come up to his room so
he could “get some”.
 When Sunny arrived Holden just wanted to talk
because he was too scared to do anything with her.
 Sunny and Holden’s relationship was meant to be
physical and intimate but Holden tried to connect
with her on an emotional level and was rejected.
“I took her dress over to the closet and hung it up for her.
It was funny. It made me feel sort of sad when I hung it
up. I thought of her going into the store and buying it,
and nobody in the store knowing she was a prostitute
and all. The salesman probably thought she was a
regular girl when she bought it. It made me feel sad as
hell - I don’t know why exactly.” (Salinger, 96)
- Holden gets into the elevator and meets a man named
Maurice who asks if Holden would like a prostitute
and Holden takes the offer. A prostitute names Sonny
comes to Holden’s hotel door and enters. Holden
doesn’t feel up to doing anything and so he lies and
says he recently had surgery.
Bernice
 Bernice and Holden dance together on Holden’s first
night in New York in the club the Lavender Room.
Their relationship never goes past dancing with one
another. This relationship is Holden’s attempt to feel
close to someone. Holden does not care that she does
not listen to him talk or is not smart, all he cares about
when they are dancing is that someone wants to dance
with him and be close to him.
“She was really a moron. But what a dancer. I could
hardly stop myself from sort of giving her a kiss on the
top of her dopey head - you know - right where the
part is, and all” (Salinger, 21-22).
- This demonstrates the role of sexuality in the novel
because Holden dances with Bernice. He tries to get
her to stay at the bar with him after they dance but she
says that she needs to wake up early the next morning
and leaves. Holden wishes she would stay so that he
can be close to someone.
Questions
 What does this relationship mean to Holden?
 Is one more important that the other?
 Who was there and cared for Holden the most?
The Role of Sexuality
 Sexuality plays a large role in the novel because
Holden makes reference to sexual feelings and
thoughts on a regular basis and expresses his thoughts
and feelings through the way that he behaves and
speaks with people. Anytime that Holden saw a
woman he was quick to judge and make reference to
sex and sexual feelings. These sexual feelings are his
attempt to get close and feel intimacy with another
person.
How Holden’s Relationships Differ
 Holden has many relationships with different women
throughout the novel.
 Sally, Jane, and Phoebe: These relationships actually
mean something to Holden. They are important to
him and he wants to stay close with them because they
make him feel better about himself and more
comfortable with who he is and do not judge him.
 Faith, Sonny, and Bernice: Holden only tries to
become close to these women when he feels alone.
Their relationships do not actually mean anything to
him other than something to keep him busy and
distract him from the pain of loneliness.
Holden’s Morality
 Holden is so caught up in his sexual fantasy’s that it
starts to take over his thoughts. When he goes out for
a drink with his friend from school, Carl Luce, the only
thing he can talk about is Carl’s sex life.
 Whenever he sees someone all he thinks about is their
sex life. When he meets the nuns he wonders about
how they can like the book Romeo and Juliet when it
has sex in it.
 Holden is just curious about sex as he has never take
part in such activities.
Works Cited
Salinger, J.D. The Catcher In The Rye. New York: Little,
Brown and Company. 1951.
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