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Quotes

Quote #25

Then something happened. I don't even like to talk about it. I woke up all of a sudden. I don't know what time it was or anything, but I woke up. I felt something on my head, some guy's hand. Boy, it really scared hell out of me. What it was, it was Mr. Antolini's hand. What he was doing was, he was sitting on the floor right next to the couch, in the dark and all, and he was sort of petting me or patting me on the goddam head. Boy, I'll bet I jumped about a thousand feet.

"What the hellya doing?" I said.

"Nothing! I'm simply sitting here, admiring – "

"What're ya doing, anyway?" I said over again. I didn't know what the hell to say—I mean I was embarrassed as hell.

"How 'bout keeping your voice down? I'm simply sitting here – "

"I have to go, anyway," I said—boy, was I nervous! I started putting on my damn pants in the dark. I could hardly get them on I was so damn nervous. I know more damn perverts, at schools and all, than anybody you ever met, and they're always being perverty when I'm around. (24.82-88)

There's way too much to say about this paragraph for us to cram it into a teeny-tiny thought here. Check out Mr. Antolini's "Character Analysis" for solid analytical indulgence.

Quote #26

I didn't know what the hell to talk about while I was waiting for the elevator, and he kept standing there, so I said, "I'm gonna start reading some good books. I really am." I mean you had to say something. It was very embarrassing.

"You grab your bags and scoot right on back here again. I'll leave the door unlatched."

"Thanks a lot," I said. "G'by!" The elevator was finally there. I got in and went down. Boy, I was shaking like a madman. I was sweating, too. When something perverty like that happens, I start sweating like a bastard. That kind of stuff's happened to me about twenty times since I was a kid. I can't stand it. (24.98-100)

Look at how Holden acts even after he feels violated and nervous. He still makes conversation, still tries to somewhat smooth over the conversation. Despite everyone calling him "anti-social" all the time, he's a rather conscientious guy. On the other hand, it could be that he's just super embarrassed and talking to make himself feel better. Take your pick.

Quote #27

"Jane Gallagher. Jesus . . . I couldn't get her off my mind. I really couldn't. "I oughta go down and say hello to her, at least."

"Why the hell don'tcha, instead of keep saying it?" Stradlater said.

I walked over to the window, but you couldn't see out of it, it was so steamy from all the heat in the can. "I'm not in the mood right now," I said. I wasn't, either. You have to be in the mood for those things. […] I walked around the can for a little while. I didn't have anything else to do. (4.49-57)

Holden says he ought to go say hello to Jane, but can't get himself to follow through and actually do it. It’s not just that he’s a coward—he really likes this girl, and that means that he’s somehow unable to think about her in any sexual way.

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