The Catcher in the Rye

How does Holden's call to Faith Cavendish illustrate his insecurities and contradictions?


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Holden thinks that he himself is the "biggest sex maniac you ever saw," but then paradoxically claims that he does not understand sex at all. He then thinks of calling Jane Gallagher but again decides against it, and instead considers calling a woman named Faith Cavendish, who was formerly a burlesque stripper and is not quite a prostitute. Holden even explicitly conceives of sex in disgusting terms. When he muses on sexual matters, he repeatedly describes such behavior as "crumby," but then admits that he himself is "pretty horny" and cannot control the sexual urges that can "spoil anything really good."