Essay about The Treatment Of Women By Holden Caulfield

1340 Words Jul 9th, 2015 6 Pages
The Treatment of Women by Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye

Women, the existence and treatment of, have been a controversial conversation for decades. Before the feminist movement, women were housewives. They were mothers, they cooked for their family, and cleaned the home. These stereotypes have had a negative impact on the way men view women. In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield’s opinions on women are shown through his interactions with the female gender. As Holden Caulfield wanders New York in The Catcher and the Rye, his interactions with women reveal his struggles with the female gender. Holden Caulfield has conflicting views on woman, as he attempts to understand and interact with them. Throughout The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield repeatedly divides the girls he meets into two categories, virgins and whores. He fails to accept woman as intelligent, and believes that he knows what they want, even when they do not.

Holden Caulfield consistently shows a black and white view of women through his thoughts and actions. He breaks down the complex personalities of women until they fit into two distinct categories: virgins or whores. “She gave me a pain in the ass, but she was very good looking” (Salinger 106). Holden Caulfield seems to care only for how girls look, choosing to spend time with a girl only if she was intelligent or good looking. “She used to be a burlesque stripper or something. Anyway, I went over to the phone and gave her a buzz”…

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