The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye Chapter 10 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
The blonde was some dancer. She was one of the best dancers I ever danced with. I'm not kidding, some of these very stupid girls can really knock you out on a dance floor. You take a really smart girl, and half the time she's trying to lead you around the dance floor, or else she's such a lousy dancer, the best thing to do is stay at the table and just get drunk with her.
"You really can dance," I told the blonde one. "You oughta be a pro. I mean it. I danced with a pro once, and you're twice as good as she was. Did you ever hear of Marco and Miranda?"
"What?" she said. She wasn't even listening to me. She was looking all around the place. (10.13-15)
Hm. Holden is hardly sexually or socially inept here. He's bold enough to ask the girl to dance in the first place, and then adept enough to make decent conversation. Again, we’re pretty sure he could get lucky if he really wanted to.
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. She got sore when I did it.
"Hey! What's the idea?"
"Nothing. No idea. You really can dance," I said. "I have a kid sister that's only in the goddam fourth grade. You're about as good as she is, and she can dance better than anybody living or dead." (10.25-27)
Although he values intelligence in women, Holden often lets physical appearances cloud his judgment.
I apologized like a madman, because the band was starting a fast one. She started jitterbugging with me – but just very nice and easy, not corny. She was really good. All you had to do was touch her. And when she turned around, her pretty little butt twitched so nice and all. She knocked me out. I mean it. I was half in love with her by the time we sat down. That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. Girls. Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can. (10.42)
We’re thinking “half in love” is just code for “wholly in lust.”