‘Catcher in the Rye’ and Exotic Asian Women

Ed NortonSo I was re-reading “Catcher in the Rye” twenty years after I first read it as a high school teen, and aside from feeling annoyed about viewing the world through the eyes of a rich white boy, I was extra annoyed by this little discussion between Holden and his smarty pants friend Luce in chapter 19. They’re discussing Luce’s new girlfriend:

“She happens to be from Shanghai.”
“No kidding! She Chinese for Chrissake?”
“Obviously.”
“Why? I’d be interested to know–I really would.”
“I simply happen to find Eastern philosophy more satisfactory than Western. Since you ask.”
“You do? Wuddya mean ‘philosophy’? Ya mean sex and all? You mean it’s better in China? That what you mean?”
“Not necessarily in China, for God’s sake. The East I said. Must we go on with this inane conversation?”
“Listen, I’m serious,” I said. “No kidding. Why’s it better in the East?”
“They simply happen to regard sex as both a physical and a spiritual experience.”

Yes, because dating one girl from China suddenly puts you in touch with “Eastern Philosophy”.

Of course it’s the sex. Stop trying to cover up your base colonial desires with all this BS about eastern philosophy and spiritualism. Talk about a phony.

Luce is supposed to be an “intellectual” but he’s just another moron with an Asian fetish, and Holden’s a bigger phony than Luce is. He really is.

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About tinabot

Tinabot is a writer, teacher, and ninja. She and her students write and publish their work. Her debut teen kung fu romance novel The Legend of Phoenix Mountain is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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