The Great Ward Stradlater

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The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger's masterpiece, is about a young man named Holden Caufield at a time in his life when a lot of, "Madman stuff," began happening to him.The story begins while Holden is still at Pency, a school in Pennsylvania, living with another student named Ward Stradlater.Stradlater is important to this story because of his relationship with Holden, how he contrasts with him, and also because of how something he does affects Holden throughout the rest of the story.
Ward Stradlaterfirst appears in the book in the third chapter, and disappears after the sixth, yet, during that time, he played a significant role in Holden's life.While they were roommates, it seems as though Holden actually liked Stradlater (unlike most other people at the school).This can be seen in a few ways;first, when Holden and Ackley, another student at Pency, are talking, Ackley makes mention of the fact that he thinks Stradlater is a sonuvabitch.Holden actually defends Stradlater saying that he is not a bad guy and that Ackley just does not know him well enough.Then Holden goes on to say that if Stradlater had a tie that Ackley like, he would probably just give it to him, implying that he was perhaps a generous guy.Also, the fact that Holden, "Horsed-around," while around Stradlater, tap-dancing for him and the like, leads the reader to feel as though Holden felt close to him.How Stradlater felt about Holden is another question.It seemed that at one point he felt pretty close to Holden, but that was most likely only because he needed him to write him a paper for him.After his paper was written, he criticized Holden for what he wrote about which leads the read to think that he, in reality, did not care too much for him.Even though the two shared a room at Pency, they had very little in common.
Stradlater was a stereotypical jock.Holden himself went into detail about how Stradl…