Repetition in the Catcher in the Rye.
Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, the main character, Holden Caulfield, is characterized as an immature, opinionated, underachieving individual with severe emotional problems. Holden is faced with numerous difficult situations including dropping out of several boarding schools, the death of his brother, and a deep rooted sexual dysfunction. Three people in his life force him to face his difficulties; Carl Luce, Holden's sister Phoebe, and Mr. Antolini.
The first person to force Holden to face his difficulties is Carl Luce. Carl was Holden's Student Advisor when Holden was a student at a boarding school called Whooten (Salinger 185). During their time at the school Holden describes Luce as an expert in sex. This intrigued Holden and is the root of his fascination with Luce, and apparently is the main reason that Holden remains friends with him. While talking to Luce one day, Luce makes an attempt to get Holden to face his emotional problems by telling him "your mind is immature" (191). Holden replies that:.
"It is. It really is. I know it, [ ] You know what trouble the trouble with me is? I can never get really sexy-I mean really sexy-with a girl I don't like a lot. I mean I have to like her a lot. If I don't, I sort of lose my goddam desire for her and all. Boy, it really screws up my sex life something awful. My sex life stinks."(191).
Luce offers to arrange for his father to psychoanalyze Holden in an attempt to help him get over his emotional immaturity (192). Holden is resistant to the help and argues with Luce, wondering "what would he (Luce's father) do to me" (192). Luce consoles Holden by telling him that nothing would happen to him, his father would only listen and try to help him (Holden) to recognize the patterns of his mind (192).
The second person to force Holden to face his emotional difficulties is his sister, Phoebe. Phoebe is considerably younger than Holden, but has a deep insight to Holden's emotional problems.