Strad and Jane English Presentation[2]

Same height but weighed twice as much as Holden
“He thought he was the handsomest guy
in the Western Hemisphere. He was
pretty handsome, too”
“He was always asking you to do him a
big favour.”
“He wanted you to think that the only
reason he was lousy at writing compositions
was because he stuck all the commas in the
wrong place.”
Very strong
“He didn’t have too bad a sense of humour.”
Has long “gorgeous locks”
Flatters people to get his way.
“Stradlater was a very sexy bastard”
Always in a big hurry
“That was one good thing about Stradlater.
You didn’t have to explain every god dam little
thing to him, the way you did with Ackley.”
Everything was a very big deal
Piercing whistle that was never in tune.
Pretty friendly – “was partly a phony kind of
“Stradlater was more of a secret slob.”
His razor “was always rusty as hell and full of
lather and hairs and crap.”
“He always shaved himself twice, to look gorgeous.”
“You couldn’t rile him too easily. He was
too conceited.”
“He was mad about himself.”
Stradlater hated breaking rules.
“He hated it when you called him a moron.
All the morons hate it when you call them a
“She practically lived right next door to me, the
summer before last.”
Had a “big damn Doberman pinscher”
Dancer; “ballet and all. She used to practice
about two hours every day”
Used to play checkers. “She wouldn’t move any
of her kings… She just liked the way they looked
when they were all in the back row.”
Had a lousy childhood.
Her mother was to married to some ‘booze hound’.
“You never wanted to kid Jane too much. I think I
really like it best when you can kid the pants off a
girl when the opportunity arises, but it’s a funny
thing. The girls I like best are the ones I never feel
much like kidding”.
“..this tear plopped down on the checkerboard…
Then she really started to cry.” After a while she
went in a “put on this red and white sweater she
“She wouldn’t let me get to her mouth.”
Never necked. “I don’t want you to get the idea
she was a goddam icicle or something… I held
hands with her all the time, for instance.”
The phrase “Stradlater was a very sexy bastard” doesn’t refer to the way that Stradlater looks; it refers to the way Stradlater acts.
He, unlike Holden, sees sex as a casual thing rather than a way to show your affection and adoration to someone you love.
Stradlater doesn’t seem like someone who would take no for an answer. On page 43, when Holden is discussing one time when he
double dated with Stradlater, Holden mentions how he knew Stradlater’s technique. “… He’d start snowing his date in this very
quiet, sincere voice - like as if he wasn’t only a very handsome guy but a nice, sincere guy, too… His date kept saying, “No –
please. Please, don’t. Please.” But old Stradlater kept snowing her in this Abraham Lincoln, sincere voice… I don’t think he
gave that girl the time that night – but damn near. Damn near.” This suggests that if Holden and his date hadn’t been there,
Stradlater would’ve taken advantage of her.
When Jane ‘keeps her kings at the back’ it symbolises being virtuous. It was her way of protecting what she holds dear. This is the
main way in which Holden relates to Jane as his main aim is to protect the innocence of children. We only know the Jane that Holden
played checkers with and not the Jane who went on a date with Stradlater. Holden thinks they are the same person; “I knew she
wouldn’t let him get to first base with her, but it drove me crazy anyway.” When in fact Holden is trying to hold on to the
innocent memories of Jane as to not taint his portrayal of her innocence.
Jane is very significant to Holden. He admires her or at least the childhood memory of her. He mentions throughout the book the fact
that he should ‘give her a buzz’ but he can’t bring himself to do so. This is possibly because he cannot bring himself to confront reality.
When Stradlater tells him that he and Jean (Jane) were going on a date, Holden became excited the Jane had remembered him, yet,
as the hours passed by he began to dwell on what Stradlater and Jane were doing on this date and when Stradlater refused to give
Holden a straight answer, Holden became agitated and defensive saying things like; “You don’t even know if
her first name it Jane or Jean, ya goddam moron.”
Jane crying after her step dad came out indicates that he sexually abuses her, though she denies it
when Holden asks. Maybe because she’s ashamed or she finds it difficult to talk about. Holden
believes Jane when she tells him that she wasn’t abused which was ignorant of him. He believed that
because she of her innocence she wouldn’t lie to him. This abuse were possibly the cause of the loss
of innocence for Jane.
The characters Jane and Stradlater have a significant influence on Holden. Holden is to some extent fixed upon Jane’s character.
When he found out that Stradlater and Jane spent their date in the back of Ed Banky’s car he became agitated. His ‘voice was
shaking something awful’. “I kept thinking about Jane, and about Stradlater having a date with her and all. It made me so
nervous I nearly went crazy.”
These events illuminate the theme in which Holden is fixed upon the idea of seeing and speaking to Jane, but as he only
remembers her for what she was like as child, he cannot bring himself to do so. He cannot overcome the idea that Jane has grown
up and matured, so when he finds out she is going on this date with Stradlater it drives him ‘mad’.
Holden became very angry when Stradlater would not tell him what they did and attempted to punch him, but he missed and
Stradlater pinned him down onto the floor with his knees and soon punched Holden. His face was covered in blood and he was, for
some reason, fascinated by it. “All the blood sort of made me look tough”.