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Consider the quote:

Sensitive. That killed me. That guy Morrow was about as sensitive as a goddam toilet seat!

If Holden really thinks this, then why does he go out of his way to tell Mrs. Morrow that her son, Ernest, is “a very sensitive boy”?


Holden is humoring Mrs. Morrow while also deflecting attention from himself.


Holden is getting revenge on Ernest for a prank Ernest pulled on Holden at Pencey the year before.


Holden wants to have sex with Mrs. Morrow and complimenting her son is his way of flirting.


Holden manipulates Mrs. Morrow by telling lies about Ernest because he is disgusted by her arrogance.


Holden feels bad for Ernest and wants to make Mrs. Morrow feel good about her son.

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