Sunny embodies what Holden desperately wants and fears – physical affection. Prior to meeting Maurice, Holden is feeling “depressed and all” (Salinger 116) and “sort of lousy” (116). His negative feelings beforehand initiate him to make a decision he otherwise would not have made –agreeing to hire a prostitute - but acknowledges that “it was too late now” (119) to invalidate what, arguably, he commits to purely on impulse. He feels “a little nervous” (120) because sex is a novelty for him – he’s had “quite a few opportunities” (120) to engage in intercourse, yet hasn’t gotten around t...
... middle of paper ...
...ually nonexistent. Luce symbolizes how Holden wishes he could be – active sexually, and the absence of that in his life causes him great distress.
Holden’s sexual struggles are visible through his interactions with Sunny, Sally Hayes, and Carl Luce. Holden’s fascination with sex interferes with his elevated morals; as much as he wants to engage in intercourse, he voices his need to establish an emotional connection with his partner first, which prevents him from having casual sex. As much as physical intimacy is important to him, Holden needs to be taken care of and understood emotionally, as well, displaying that he holds sex in high regards and does not view it as something to be done carelessly. Holden just needs to be loved; but, unfortunately, his romantic life is sub-par at best, and until that changes, he’ll always feel confused – and very, very lonely.
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