Sexuality And Romantic Orientation : Holden Caulfield From J. D. Salinger

1020 Words Mar 4th, 2016 5 Pages
Sexuality and romantic orientation are extremely complicated and confusing traits, especially so for those who do not fit into the societal norm of heterosexuality. Holden Caulfield from J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye is no exception, constantly flustered when faced with the prospect of sexual situations and trying to stay true to his values in a society where sex is compulsory for entering adulthood. For example, possible implications of past experiences with sexual harassment explain why Holden is deterred from sexual relationships and exhibits a propensity for asexual behavior. Furthermore, Holden’s inclination for seeking out romantic and emotional relationships rather than sexual ones also evince his asexual temperament. Finally, throughout the book, Holden balks at engaging in sexual situations despite stating that he does enjoy the idea of sex. Holden, between his developed asexual tendencies and avoidance of sex, is likely asexual. Holden has been discouraged from sexual behavior due to his prior experiences with rape, molestation, and sexual harassment, this being one of the major contributing factors to his development of asexuality. After his encounter with Mr. Antolini in which he wakes up to the teacher patting him on the head, Holden casually mentions that “something perverty like that… that kind of stuff’s happened to me about twenty times since I was a kid” (Salinger 213). This strongly insinuates that Holden has been dealing with pedophilia and…

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