| Quote #1
I mistrust all frank and simple people, especially when their stories hold together [...]. (1.2)
In a world of liars and cheats, of course Jake mistrusts people who are up front, since they seem too good to be true!
| Quote #2
So there you were. I was sorry for him, but it was not a thing you could do anything about, because right away you ran up against the two stubbornnesses: South America could fix it and he did not like Paris. He got the first idea out of a book and I suppose the second came out of a book, too. (2.8)
Jake comments upon Cohn’s easily impressed mentality; Jake looks down upon this aspect of his friend’s personality.
| Quote #3
[…] as all the time I was kneeling with my forehead on the wood in front of me, and was thinking of myself as praying, I was a little ashamed, and I regretted that I was such a rotten Catholic, but realized there was nothing I could do about it, at least for a while and maybe never, but that anyway it was a grand religion, and I only wished I felt religious and maybe I would the next time […]. (10.21)
Jake, attempting to find some kind of genuine connection to his spirituality, realizes that despite his longing for faith, he’s not a proper Catholic. His desire to "feel religious" here is understandable – after all, religion explains the mysteries of life, which Jake is certainly, well, mystified by.