1. Holden has learned at an early age that men are from Mars, and women are from Venus. Well, not exactly. Holden seems to have a lot of teen trouble with members of the opposite sex. When he's in a romantic relationship, he does not know how to read the ladies that he's dating. On page 92, he says: "The thing is, most of the time when you're coming pretty close to doing it with a girl … she keeps telling you to stop. 'I can not help it.' You never know whether they really want you to stop, or whether they're just scared as bleep, or whether they're just telling you to stop so that if you do go through with it , the blame will be on you, not them. Anyway, I keep stopping. "
In Chapter Ten, Holden is talking about a girl he likes, and he says: "I was half in love with her by the time we sat down. not much to look at, or even if they're kind of stupid, you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the bleep you are. Of course they can. Is not that part of being in love? Holden does not want to accept that men are from Mars, and women are from Venus.
2. Holden worn a red hunting cap in New York City to be stylish. We wearing a red hunting hat in a city is very different, but stylish? As if the hat itself was not out of place enough, he puts it on his head backwards, just like a baseball catcher's hat. Holden is not hunting for deer or jumping to catch baseball at Yankee stadium. If he's hunting for anything, it's for a more perfect world without phonies and materialistic people. That is, he's hunting for a bridge that will take him out of childhood where everything is more innocent and calm to adulthood where the only thing you can count on is change, and a world bursting with phonies, which is his favorite word to describe many things. He knows he has to walk that bridge, but he's not going to do it until he's bleep ready, even if he has to have a mental meltdown first. So, his red hat is a symbol of his individuality that he never really wants to take off or lose. As long as he's wearing his red hunting hat, he feels protected from bad weather and a stormy adulthood.
3. Holden has goals. He wants to do something with his life. He wants to be a catcher in the rye . Near the end of the book he confides in his sister Phoebe what his dream is in life. When kids run near the edge of a rye field, he will catch them. He will be a "rye field catcher." I imagine that the salary will be a little less than playing catcher for the New York Yankees. If you really want to know the truth, I guess that I am being a little sarcastic here. It's just that we're getting near the end of Holden's journey in Chapter 22, and we have not seen much progress. Lots of people have given Holden some good advice along his journey, from little Phoebe to Mr. Antolini. And we're all wondering if he's going to change. Is he going to apply himself in school? Is he going to graduate? Is his sister and parents going to be proud of him someday? How is his life going to turn out?
The closing words of Holden are encouraging, when you consider how conflicted Holden is about sharing his feelings. He says, "Do not ever tell anyone anything. If you do, you start missing everyone." And feeling connected with people certainly beats the feeling like you¡¯re disappearing as you walk across the streets of New York City, which Holden complained about earlier in the book.
And I have another reason to be hopeful. Sometimes people come unexpectedly into our lives and sprinkle in seeds of hope that later blossom in our being when we least expect it. Mr. Antolini (on page 188) shares a famous quote with Holden to think about on his journey: "The mark of an immature man is to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one . " Someday those words will yield fruit for Holden.
If you really want to know the truth, I like happy endings. So, ever, I know in my heart of hearts, Holden becomes a mature man and makes a difference with his life.
Aunt Dolores would have liked that ending too.