Catcher in the Rye


    Catcher in the Rye

    The title of the book comes from a children's song. Holden imagines that his ideal job as an adult would be as "a catcher in the rye". Holden believes "a catcher in the rye" protects innocent children from getting hurt. Holden wants to preserve and protect children and their innocence from the "phony" world of adults.

     About the Book

    • Published in 1951
    • Has sold over 65 million copies
    • One of the most controversial books for teenagers
    • Adult language (cursing)
    • Mature content (sex, alcohol, smoking, death)
    • Named one of the BEST novels of the 20th century by Time magazine


    Author: JD Salinger

    1. born in 1919 in New York City
    2. Wealthy Parents
    3. Attended several boarding schools
    4. Parents sent him to military school
    5. Attended college, but never graduated
    6. JD Salinger was reclusive most of his adult life 



    Early 1950's America, after WWII, the country in entering a prosperous, industrial era

    Pencey Prep School and New York City



    First Person Narrative

    17 year old, Holden Caulfield (the main character or protagonist) is the narrator.

    Is Holden a reliable narrator?

    The story is told only from Holden's point of view.

     Holden is telling his story to a therapist

    Holden uses the dialect of a teenage boy (cursing) to make the story more believable

    Words or Phrases Holden Caulfield Uses





    I could puke

    Annoys the hell out of me

    I don’t care

    It kills me

    Lousy, crumby

    Terrific, just terrific

     Boy or Oh boy

    The trouble is

    You know what makes me depressed

    As hell

    Makes me depressed as hell

    Makes me annoyed as hell


    For the birds


    1. Alienation to Protect Yourself

    Holden doesn't feel "he belongs". He purposely tries to be an outsider to protect himself. Holden is more comfortable alienating himself from family and friends. He chooses "not belonging" before he can be excluded by others.


    2. The Pain of Growing Up

    Like most novels about teenagers, Holden discovers that it is painful to grow up, change, mature and be responsible.


    3. Phoniness in the World

    "Phony" is used throughout the novel. Holden is disgusted by the adult world, he considers most every adult a phony. He wants the world to be simple. But even Holden is admittedly a compulsive liar.


    Chapter 1 (Pages 1-6) "Some madman stuff"

    Chapter 2 (Pages 6-16) "Life is game and Holden doesn't want to play by the rules"

    Chapter 3 (Pages 16-26) "Ackley, the slob, pops his pimples"

    Chapter 4 (Pages 26-35) "Stradlater, the secret slob has a date with Jane"

    Chapter 4 (Pages 26-35) "Stradlater, the secret slob has a date with Jane"

    Chapter 5 (Pages 35-39) "Writing an Essay about his brother Allie"

    Chapter 6 (Pages 40-46) "The Big Fight with Stradlater"

    Chapter 7 (Pages 46-52) "Depressed and Lonesome in his Dorm Room"

    Chapter 8 (Pages 53-58) "Lies on the train to New York"

    Chapter 9 (Pages 59-66) "Where do those ducks go in the winter?" 

    Chapter 10 (Pages 66-76) "Dancing and Drinking Coke"

    Chapter 11 (Pages 76-80) "Obsessing over Jane Gallagher" 

    Chapter 12 (Pages 81-87) "Going to Ernie's, the Ducks AGAIN and more phonies" 

     Chapter 13 (Pages 88-98) "Holden is a coward"

    Chapter 14 (Pages 98-104) "Sunny and Maurice shake down Holden for more cash" 

    Chapter 15 (Pages 105-113) "Nuns with cheap suitcases eating in the diner"

    Chapter 16 (pages 113-122) "Not going in there for a million bucks" 

    Chapter 17 (Pages 123-134) "Holden acts like a madman"

     Chapter 18 (Pages 135-141) "Thinking about Jane, stuck up guys, Allie, Kettle Drummer and Not Going to War"

    Chapter 19 (Pages 141- 149) "Holden meets Carl Luce at the Wicker Bar"

     Chapter 20 (Pages 149-157) "Drunk and Lost in Central Park" 

    Chapter 21 (Pages 157-) "Holden sneaks into his house"

    Chapter 22 (Pages 166-174) " I want to be the Catcher in the Rye"

    Chapter 23 (Pages 175-180) "Holden Dances with Phoebe and Borrows her Christmas Money" 

    Chapter 24 (Pages 180-193) "Mr. Antolini warns Holden he is headed for a fall"

    Chapter 25 (Pages 194-213) "Holden Has a Breakdown"

    Chapter 26 (Pages 213-214) "The Missing Details"


    Chapter Summaries

    Chapter 1 (Pages 1-6) "Some madman stuff"

    Main Character Holden Caulfield is at a psychiatric hospital or "a mental health facility" and he begins to explain why he thinks he is there.

    “I’m not going to tell you my whole goddamn autobiography or anything. I’ll just tell you about this madman stuff that happened to me around last Christmas just before I got pretty run-down and had to come out here and take it easy.” (Page 1)

    Holden's older brother, DB, is a writer in Hollywood for the movies. 


    “How he’s out in Hollywood, DB, being a prostitute. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s movies. Don’t even mention them to me. “(Page 2)

    Tells the reader he went to Pencey Prep,  but was expelled for failing 4 out of 5 classes

    Manager of the fencing team-lost their equipment in NYC

    Holden is a loner and outsider. All the other students are at a football game


    Chapter 2 (Pages 6-16) "Life is game and Holden doesn't want to play by the rules"

    Holden goes to visit one of his teachers, Mr. Spencer.

    Mr. Spencer is old. He has the grippe (flu). Holden flunked his history class.

    Mr. Spencer tells Holden, 

    "Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules.” (Page 8)

    Holden likes and respects Mr. Spencer but leaves his house when Mr. Spencer begins to lecture him about life.

    Holden does not want to follow rules. 


    Chapter 3 (Pages 16-26) "Ackley, the slob, pops his pimples"

     “I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It’s awful.” (page 16)


    Holden goes back to his dorm room in Ossenburger Hall (Ossenberger is a rich alumnus that owns funeral parlors)

     Holden is wearing his red hunting hat (backwards)

     Ackley, a student who lives next door visits Holden

     According to Holden, Ackley is a “slob”, irritating and has poor hygiene.  Ackley pops his pimples, cuts his toenails over the floor and barges into Holden’s room uninvited.


    Chapter 4 (Pages 26-35) "Stradlater, the secret slob has a date with Jane"

     Holden spends chapter 4 talking to his roommate Stradlater in the bathroom.

     Stradlater is very handsome and conceited (cocky), and a secret slob (dirty, rusty razor)

     Stradlater is getting ready for a date with a girl that Holden knows from summer vacation.

     Holden becomes obsessed with Stradlater's “date” with his old friend Jane.

     Ironically, Stradlater asks Holden to write a descriptive composition about a room for him, even though Holden in flunking out of Pencey.


    Chapter 5 (Pages 35-39) "Writing an Essay about his brother Allie"

    A typical Saturday night at Pencey Prep--they serve steak in the dining hall, Holden and a few friends throw snow balls and go into town to eat some hamburgers and see a movie.

    Holden writes a descriptive composition for his roommate Stradlater about his brother Allie's baseball glove. Allie was left-handed and wrote poems all over his baseball mitt in green ink.

    The reader learns:

    Allie died from leukemia when he was 11 years old (July 18, 1946)

    Holden is 2 years older than Allie, so he was 13 when his brother died.

    Holden describes Allie as intelligent, with red hair and "it wasn't just that he was the most intelligent member of the family. He was also the nicest, in lots of ways." (Page 38)

    Holden was devastated by his brother's death. He slept in the garage that night and was physically aggressive. He punched out all the windows in the garage. "they were going to have me psychoanalyzed and all, because I broke all the windows in the garage." (Page 39)


    Chapter 6 (Pages 40-46) "The Big Fight with Stradlater"

    Holden is sitting around in his dorm room waiting for Stradlater to get back from his date with Jane.

    Mentally, he seems disconnected from reality. Can't remember, argumentative, can't stop talking, fascinated by blood

    Holden opens this chapter telling the reader "Some things are hard to remember...I was so damn worried." (Page 40)

    Holden seems angry at Stradlater and picks a fight with him, calling Stradlater "a sonuvabitch and a moron" repeatedly.

    Right before the fight Holden writes, "Boy I was getting nervous. I just had this feeling something had gone funny." (Page 42)

    They fight and Stradlater has to hold Holden down and ends up punching him in the face to get Holden to shut up.

    After the fight, Holden tells the reader, "I had blood all over my mouth and chin and even on my pajamas and bathrobe. It parly scared me and it party fascinated me." (Page 45)


    Chapter 7 (Pages 46-52) "Depressed and Lonesome in his Dorm Room"

    Holden is agitated (can't sit still or fall asleep) after his fight with Stradlater. He goes next door into Ackley's room and wakes him up.

    Ackley asks Holden about the fight, but Holden refuses to answer Ackley.

    Holden repeatedly states in Chapter 7 that he is depressed and lonesome.

    "I got up and went over and looked out the window, I felt so lonesome. I almost wished I was dead." (Page 48)

    "Boy, did I feel rotten. I felt so damm lonesome." (Page 48)

    "It was so depressing out in the street...I got feeling so lonesome and rotten." (Page 50)

    "It was very, very, quiet and depressing in the corridor." (Page 51)

    Holden suddenly makes a decision to leave Pencey Prep that night. He packs his bags, sells his typewriter and leaves.

    "I just didn't want to hang around anymore. It made me too sad and lonesome." (Page 51)

    "My nerves were shot." (Page 51)

    Holden is crying when he leaves.


    Chapter 8 (Pages 53-58) "Lies on the train to New York"
    Holden is taking the train home to New York in the middle of the night.

    He meets Mrs. Morrow on the train, she is the mother of a student at Pencey Prep, Ernest Morrow.

    Holden tells Mrs. Morrow one lie after another. He lies about his name.

    "Rudolf Schhmidt, I told her, ' I didn't feel like giving her my whole life history. Rudolf was the name of the janitor of our dorm." (Page54)


    Holden actually hates Mrs. Morrow's son, Ernest.

    "Her son was doubtless the biggest bastard that ever went to Pencey, in the whole crumby history of the school." (Page 54)

    "That guy was about as sensitive as a goddam toilet seat." (Page 55)

    "You take a guy like Morrow...they don't just stay a rat while they're a kid. They stay a rat their whole life." (Page 57)


    Holden knows he is lying and cannot stop.

    "Then I started shooting the old crap around a little bit." (Page 55)

    "Then I really started chucking the old crap around." (Page 56)

    "The I started reading the timetable I had in my pocket. Just to stop lying. Once I get started, I can go on for hours if I feel like it. No kidding. Hours." (Page 58)

    Holden even lies about having a brain tumor.

    "I have to have this operation...I have this little tumor on the brain...It's a very tiny one. they can take it out in about two minutes." (Page 58)


    Chapter 9 (Pages 59-66) "Where do those ducks go in the winter?"

    Holden arrives in NYC at Penn Station.

    Holden is worried about the ducks in Central Park.

    "Then I thought of something, all of the sudden. "Hey listen" I said, "You know those ducks in that lagoon right near Central Park South? that little lake? By any chance, do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over? Do you happen, by any chance? (Page 60)

    Perhaps, Holden is identifying with the ducks because he feels he has no place to go?

    Takes a cab to the Edmont Hotel.

    It is the middle of the night and he desperately wants to talk to someone and go out for a drink.

    • He invites the cab driver out for a drink.
    • Holden calls "a party girl" he does not even know.
    • Wants to talk to his little sister Phoebe, but it is too late.
    • Thinks about calling some of his friends (Sally and Jane)

    Holden people watches at the hotel.

    • Watches a man who is a cross-dresser
    • Watches a couple squirt water at each other.


    Chapter 10 (Pages 66-76) "Dancing and Drinking Coke"

    Holden wants to call his little sister, Phoebe, but is afraid his parents will find out he is in New York and got kicked out of school.

    Holden tells the reader about his little sister Phoebe

    •  smart
    • 10 years old with red hair
    • writing books about a girl detective

    Holden genuinely likes Phoebe. Phoebe is still young, a child and innocent. (not phony)

    Holden feels he is the dumb one in his family. "I'm the only really dumb one." (Page 67)

    Holden goes to the bar at the hotel.

    He tries to buy drinks but the waiter refuses to serve him.

    Holden dances with 3 girls at the next table, but he clearly does not like them.

    Going to the nightclub depresses him. "There isn't a nightclub in the world you can sit in for a long time unless you can at least buy some liquor and get drunk. Or unless you're with some girl that really knocks you out." (Page 76)


    Chapter 11 (Pages 76-80) "Obsessing over Jane Gallagher"

     Holden becomes obsessed with memories of Jane Gallagher.

     "All of a sudden, on my way out to the lobby, I got old Jane Gallagher on the brain again." (Page 76)

    "I know old Jane like a book--I still couldn't get her off my brain. I knew her like a book." (Page 76)

    Cannot stop thinking about her date with Stradlater.

    "thought about her and Stradlater sitting in that goddam Ed Banky's car, and though I was pretty damn sure old Stradlater hadn't given her the time" (Page 76)

    Holden knows Jane from 1 summer vacation they had in Maine, they were next-door neighbors

    • played checkers, golf and tennis
    • went swimming
    • reading books and poetry


    Holden considers Jane very special, because he shared something very personal with Jane. He showed Jane the poetry on Allie's baseball mitt.

    "She was the only one, outside my family, that I ever showed Allie's baseball mitt to, with all the poems written on it. She'd never met Allie." (Page 77)

    Holden suggests that Jane has a very bad relationship with her stepfather, Holden calls him "a booze hound"

    • Jane refuses to talk to stepfather
    • cries

    "I never did find out what the hell was the matter." (Page 79)


    Chapter 12 (Pages 81-87) "Going to Ernie's, the Ducks AGAIN and more phonies "

    Holden is still feeling restless.

    He takes a cab to a nightclub called Ernie's

    In the cab he talks with the cabdriver named Horowitz

    Holden is still worried about the ducks. He asks the cabbie about the ducks in Central Park.

    "I thought maybe he might know about the ducks...You know the ducks that swim around in it? In the springtime and all? Do you happen to know where they go in the wintertime, by any chance?..The ducks. Do you know by any chance? I mean does somebody come around in a truck or something and take them away, or do they fly away by themselves--go south or something?" ( page 81)

    Holden seems worried that the ducks must leave Central Park (a change). The ducks symbolize loss on innocence, growing up and changing. 

    The cab driver doesn't want to talk about the ducks, He talks about the fish in the pond instead. The cabbie gets angry with Holden.


    At the nightclub,listens to Ernie play the piano but Holden is not impressed. He says Ernie "was stinking it up." and "it made me feel depressed and lousy again and I damn near got my coat back and went back to the hotel." (Page 84)


    Holden sits at a "bad table" drinks Scotch, smokes cigarettes and is "surrounded by jerks". He listens to other people's conversations and is bored.


    Holden sees Lillian Simmons, an old girlfriend of his brother DB. Holden talks with Lillian but he thinks she is obnoxious and leaves the nightclub to get away from her.

    "I didn't have any goddam choice except to leave...I certainly wasn't going sit down at a table with old Lillian Simmons and that Navy guy and be bored to death. So I left. It made me mad, though, when I was getting my coat. People are always ruining things for you." (Page 87)

     Chapter 13 (Pages 88-98) "Holden is a coward"

    Holden walks 41 blocks from Ernie's back to the hotel.

    He is cold, misses his gloves that he imagines were stolen at Pencey Prep.

    Holden imagines an elaborate confrontation with a boy from Pencey about getting his gloves back, but realizes he is a coward and would never confront anyone.

    "It's not fun to be yellow. Maybe I'm not all yellow. I don't know. I think maybe I'm just partly yellow and partly the type that doesn't give a damn if they lose their gloves." (Page 89)


    When Holden gets back to the hotel, the elevator operator offers to get a prostitute for Holden for $5.

    "Innarested in a little tail t'night?" (Page 91) (Interested in a little tail tonight)

    Holden is flustered and confused and accepts the offer.


    As he waits for the prostitute, Holden realizes he is not very aggressive with women (a coward) and admits he has never slept with a girl.

    Later a prostitute named Sunny shows up, she takes off her dress, sits on Holden's lap and tries to seduce him.

    Holden gets nervous. He wants to talk to Sunny, He offers her a cigarette.

    Holden lies AGAIN. He makes up a story about having surgery and says he can't have sex.

    "Boy, I was getting nervous. 'The thing is, I had an operation very recently. ..On my wuddayacallit--my's in the spinal canal. I mean it's quite a ways down in the spinal canal...I'm still recuperating." (Page 96-97)

    Holden pays Sunny $5 and asks her to leave. Sunny insists that the price was $10.

    "This is a five. It costs ten...Ten for a throw." (Page 97-98)


    Chapter 14 (Pages 98-104) "Sunny and Maurice shake down Holden for more cash"

    Holden is sitting in his hotel room very early in the morning, smoking cigarettes and feeling miserable.

    He begins talking out loud to his dead brother Allie, where he changes a childhood event that occured before Allie died. In this new version, Holden lets Allie go on a bike ride with him and Bobby to shoot BB guns.

    "I started talking, sort of out loud, to Allie. I do that sometimes when I get depressed. I keep telling to go home and get his bike and meet me in front of Bobby Fallon's house." (Page 98)

    Holden gets in bed and tries to pray.

    "I can't always pray when I feel like it. In the first place, I'm sort of an atheist. I like Jesus and all, but I don't care too much for most of the other stuff in the Bible." (Page 99)

    Holden is in his pajamas in bed, when Sunny and the elevator operator, Maurice come to his room.

    Sunny and Maurice insist that Holden give them more money, another $5.

    Holden and Maurice argue. Maurice shoves Holden

    Sunny takes the money out of Holden's wallet and wants to leave.

    Maurice and Holden continue to argue and Maurice slaps Holden around.

    Holden imagines he has been shot in the gut by Maurice.

    Holden goes to the bathroom and cries.


    Chapter 15 (Pages 105-113) "Nuns with cheap suitcases eating in the diner"

     Holden wakes up on Sunday morning.

    Calls Sally Hayes on the phone and makes a date to go to see a matinee (afternoon movie) even though he does not like her very much.

    "She gave me a pain in the ass, but she was very good-looking (Page 106)

    Holden is still avoiding and hiding from his parents and does not want to go home until Wednesday.

    Holden takes his luggage and puts them in a locker at Grand Central Station.


    Holden checks his wallet for money and reveals to the reader that "I'm a goddam spendthrift at heart. What I don't spend, I lose. " (Page 107)

    Holden talks about his dad. "My father's quite wealthy...He's a corporation lawyer...he's always investing money in shows on Broadway." (Page 107)


    Holden is very hungry and goes to a diner to get something to eat.

    2 Nuns come into the diner with cheap suitcases.

    Holden goes on a rant about the nuns' cheap suitcases and mentions that his roommate, Dick Slagele, from the Elkton Hills School had cheap suitcase.

     "I hate it when somebody has cheap suitcases...It depressed the holy hell out of me." (Page 108)


    Holden starts talking to the nuns.

    The nuns pay attention to Holden. 

    He gives them a $10 donation.

    He talks to the nuns about reading in school. (Romeo and Juliet) Holden is embarassed to talk to nuns about "that play that gets pretty sexy" in parts.

    Romeo and Juliet-Allusion

    "I felt much sorrier when old Mercutio got killed than when Romeo and Juliet did...Mercutio, he was--it's hard to explain. He was very smart and entertaining and all. The thing is, it drives me crazy if somebody gets killed--especially somebody very smart and entertaining and all--and it's somebody else's fault. Romeo and Juliet at least it was their own fault." (Page 111)

    References to the play

    Holden doesn't like Romeo (romatntic and a player) reminds Holden of Stradlater and Holden is not very good with the girls

    Holden likes Mercutio. Mercutio died. It was not Mercutio's fault. Mercutio was intelligent and entertaining (LIKE HOLDEN'S BROTHER ALLIE WHO DIED FROM LEUKEMIA)


    Holden tried to pay for the nuns' food at the diner. He really enjoyed talking to them.


    Holden reveals his feeling about religion. He mentions his father used to be Catholic, until he married Holden's mother. He thinks that Catholics want everyone to be Catholic.


    Chapter 16 (pages 113-122) "Not going in there for a million bucks"

    After breakfast, Holden is walking around NYC thinking.

    He thinks the nuns are very "unselfish" and does not know anyone else like them.

    He wants to buy a record called "Little Shirley Beans" for his sister Phoebe because it is a sexy song.

    "It was a very old, terrific record that this colored girl singer, Estelle Fletcher, made about twenty years ago. She sings it very Dixieland and whorehouse, and it doesn't sound at all mushy." (Page 115)



    Sees a family coming home from church and a little boy singing.

    "If a body catch a body coming the the rye. He had a pretty little voice, too...It made me feel better. It made me feel not so depressed anymore." (Page 115)


    Buys record for Phoebe.

    Tries to call Jane, hangs up when her mother answers.

    Buys movie tickets, but observes once again that actors are phonies.

    "I hate actors. They never act like people...I keep worrying about whether he's going to do something phony every minute.(Page 117)


    Decides to go to Central Park to look for his sister Phoebe, she likes to go skating there.


    Walks to the Museum of Natural History to look for Phoebe.

    Holden likes museums,

    "The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was." (Page 121)

    Holden observes that museums stay the same, but people change all the time.

    "The only thing that would be different would be you. Not that you'd be so much older or anything. It wouldn't be that exactly. You'd just be different that's all. (Page 121)

    Holden gets to the museum and suddeny refuses to go in.

    "When I got to the museum, all of a sudden I wouldn't have gone inside for a million bucks." (Page 122)


    Chapter 17 (Pages 123-134) "Holden acts like a madman"

    Holden meets Sally at the Biltmore Hotel.

    "I felt like marrying her the minute I saw her. I'm crazy. I didn't even like her much, and yet all of a sudden I felt like I was in love with her and wanted to marry her. I swear to God I'm crazy. I admit it. (Page 124)

    They make out in the taxi on the way to the theater.

    The actors in the movie annoy Holden (AGAIN)

    Sally annoys Holden when she flirts with a boy during intermission.


    After the movie they go ice-skating at Radio City and Holden begins to fall apart emotionally. "I'm in bad shape. I'm in lousy shape." (Page 131)

    shouts at Sally

    comes up with a scheme to run away with Sally to a cabin in Vermont and get married

    their argument escalates

    Holden calls Sally "a royal pain in the ass"

    He tries to apologize and admits he may be losing it. "I apologized like a madman." (page 134)


    Holden leaves Sally at the ice rink.


     Chapter 18 (Pages 135-141) "Thinking about Jane and stuck up guys, Allie and the Kettle Drummer and Not Going to War"

    Holden leaves the skating rink and goes to a drugstore and eats a swiss cheese sandwich and a malted milk.

    He thinks about calling Jane, AGAIN, but does not. He finally, calls her but gets no answer.

    Holden remembers a time he saw Jane at a dance with a boy Holden thought was a show-off.
    Jane told Holden the boy had an inferiority complex (poor self-esteem)

    Holden decides girls make excuses that boys feel inferior so they can date arrogant guys.

    "It's a funny thing about girls. Every time you mention some guy that's strictly a bastard--very mean,or conceited and all--and when you mention it to the girl, she'll tell you he has an inferiority complex." (Page 135)


    Holden calls Carl Luce, a boy he knows from the Whooton School. The agree to meet for drinks that night.


    Holden kills time by going back to Radio City Music Hall to see a movie.

    The Rockettes are performing the Christmas Show. Holden thinks the show is ridiculous.

    "It's supposed to be religious as hell, I know, and very pretty and all, but I can't see anything religious or pretty...old Jesus probably would've puked if He could see it." (Page 137)

    Holden remembers how he and Allie used to go to the Christmas show to watch the kettle drum player. The drummer had a very small part, but did his job well.


    The movie Holden watched was about the Army. Holden says he would never join the military.

    "I swear if there's another war, they better just take me out and stick me in front of a firing squad...Anyway, I sort of glad they've got the atomic bomb invented. If there's ever another war, I'm going to sit right the hell on top of it. I'll volunteer for it, I swear to God I will. (Page 141)


    Chapter 19 (Pages 141- 149) "Holden meets Carl Luce at the Wicker Bar"

    Holden goes to the Wicker Bar.

    "The Wicker Bar is in this sort of swanky hotel, the Seton Hotel...and the phonies are coming in the window." (Page 141)

    "If you sat around there long enough and heard all the phonies applauding and all, you got to hate everybody in the world, I swear you did." (Page 142)


    Carl Luce was an expert on sex at the Whooten School.

    "Old Luce. what a guy. He was supposed to be my Student Adviser when I was at Whooten. The only thing he ever did, though, was give these sex talks and all, late at night when there was a bunch of guys in his room. He knew quite a bit about sex, especially perverts and all." (Page 143)


    Carl Luce arrives at the bar and Holden keeps trying to get Carl to talk about sex.

    Carl refuses to talk about sex.

    "Same old Caulfield. When are you going to grow up?" (Page 144)

    "Oh God, Is this going to be a typical Caulfield conversation?" (Page 145)

    "Listen. Let's get one thing straight. I refuse to answer any typical Caulfield questions tonight. When in the hell are you going to grow up?(Page 146)


    Carl Luce refuses to talk about sex, no matter, how many question Holden asks. Carl tells Holden he needs psychoanalysis.

    "I told you the last time I saw you what you need." "You mean go to a psychoanalyst and all" (Page 148)


    Holden asks Carl if he has ever been analyzed by his father (a psychiatrist). Carl does not answer him.

    Carl gets fed up with Holden and leaves the bar.


     Chapter 20 (Pages 149-157) "Drunk and Lost in Central Park"

    Holden gets very, very drunk after Carl Luce leaves the Wicker Bar.

    "Boy, I sat at that goddam  bar till around one o'clock or so, getting drunk as a bastard...I could hardly see straight " (Page 150)

    Holden tries to make a date with the singer at the bar and the coat-check girl. Denied!

    Calls Sally Hayes very late at night and wakes her family up. He promises to help her decorate her Christmas tree.

    Holden goes to men's room to try to sober up, soaks his head and hair in cold water in the sink.


    Holden leaves the Wicker Bar to go find the ducks in Central Park.

    Drops and breaks the record he bought for Phoebe.

    "Then something terriblehappened just as I got in the park. I dropped old Phoebe's record." (Page 154)


    Holden continues to emotionally break down

    "When I'm drunk I'm a madman." (Page 151)


    1. Begins to cry

    "I was crying and all. I don't know why.  But I was. I guess it was because I was feeling so damn depressed and lonesome." (Page 153)

    2. Pretends he has been shot

    " When I was really drunk, I started that stupid business with the bullet in my guts again." (Page 150)

    3. Gets lost in Central Park, cannot find the duck pond

    "I've lived in New York all my life, and I know Central Park like the back of my hand...but I had the most terrific trouble finding that lagoon that night." ( Page 154)

    4. Imagines he will get pneumonia and die

    " Boy I was shivering like a bastard, and the back of my hair, even though I had my hunting hat on, was sort of full of hunk of ice. That worried me. I thought probably I'd get pneumonia and die. I started picturing million of jerks coming to my funeral." (Page 154)

    5. Holden says his mother isn't over Allie's death. But neither is Holden

    "When Allie died...I wasn't there. I was still in the hospital.I had to go to the hospital and all after I hurt my hand." (Page 155)

    "I felt sorry as hell for my mother and father. Especially my mother, because she still isn't over my brother Allie yet." (Page 155)

    6. Thinks about his own funeral

    "I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you're dead? Nobody." (Page 155)

    7. Thinks about going to the cemetery to Allie grave

    "I know it's only his body and all that's in the cemetery, and his soul's in Heaven and all that crap, but I couldn't stand it anyway. I just wish he wasn't there." (Page 156)


    Holden decides to go home to see Phoebe one last time, in case he dies of pnuemonia.

     "Finally what I figured I'd do, I figured I'd better sneak home and see her, in case I died and all. (Page 156)


    Chapter 21 (Pages 157-) "Holden sneaks into his house"

    Holden arrives at his apartment building.

    There is a new elevator operator and Holden lies to him to gain access to his family floor.

    Holden sneaks in the apartment and looks for his sister Phoebe.


    Phoebe is asleep in DB's room.

    Holden watches her sleep, he thinks children look great when they are sleeping.

    "She was laying there asleep, with her face sort of on the side of the pillow. She had her mouth way open. It's funny. You take adults, they look lousy when thy're asleep and they have their mouths way open, but kids don't." (Page 159) 


    Being with Phoebe makes Holden feel good.

    "I felt swell for a change. I didn't even feel like I was getting pneumonia or anything any more. I just felt good, for a change." (Page 159)


    He is amused that Phoebe has made up another new middle name.

     "That killed me. Her middle name is Josephine, for God's sake, not Weatherfield. She doesn't like it, though. Every time I see her she's got a new middle name for herself." (Page 160)


    Holden reads Phoebe's notebooks.

    "I sat there on DB's desk and read the whole notebook. It didn't take me long and Ican tead that kind of stuff, some kid's notebook." (Page 161)


    Holden and Phoebe talk. Phoebe is very excited to see her brother and talks about one thing after another, her school play, her friends and a bully at school.

    Phoebe realizes that Holden is home early and must have gotten kicked out of another school.

    "How come you're not home Wednesday?" (Page 164)

    Phoebe keeps telling Holden their father will kill Holden when he finds out that he has been kicked out of another school.

    "You did get kicked out! You did...Daddy'll kill you...Daddy's gonna kill you!" (Page 165)


    Holden leaves Phoebe's bedroom and goes into the living room to smoke.

    Chapter 22 (Pages 166-174) " I want to be the Catcher in the Rye"

    Holden returns to Phoebe's room to talk to her.

    Phoebe is angry that Holden has been kicked out of school again.

    "she turned her crazy face the other way. she was ostractizing the hell out of me. Just like the fencing team at Pencey when I left all the goddam foils on the subway." (Page 166)


    Holden tells Phoebe that she doesn't understand how much he hates school and all the phonies.

    "It was one of the worst schools I ever went to, It was full of phonies. And mean guys. You never saw so many mean guys in your life." (Page 167)

    Phoebe responds that Holden hates everything and she challenges Holden to tell her just one thing he really likes.

    "You don't like anything that's happening...You don't like any schools.You don't like a milliion things. You don't." (Page 169)


    Holden stops listening to Phoebe.

    "I couldn't concentrate too hot. Sometimes it's hard to concentrate." (Page 169)

    Daydreams about James Castle, a boy he knew at the Elkton School who committed suicide by jumping out a window because he was being bullied at Elkton School.

    "Old James Castle...he jumped out the window. He was dead, and his teeth, and his blood were all over the place, and nobody would even go near him...All they did with the guys that were in the room with him was expel them. They didn't even go to jail." (Page 170)


    Holden tells Phoebe that he really likes Allie, but Phoebe says that doesn't count because Allie is dead.

    "I like Allie...And I like doing what I'm doing right now. sitting here with you, and talking and thinking about stuff...Allie's dead...Just because somebody's dead, you don't just stop liking them, for God's sake--especially if they were about a thousand times nicer thatn the people you know that're alive and all." (Page 171)


    Phoebe demands to know what Holden is going to do with his life.

    "All right, name something elso. Name something you'd like to be." (Page 172)

    Holden tells Phoebe he wants to be "the catcher in the rye"

    He imagines a huge rye field where he will protect children from falling off the edge of a cliff. "If a body catch a body comin' through the rye"

    "You'd know what I'd like to be? I mean if I had my goddam choice?...That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd  really like to be. I know it's crazy." (Page 173)


    Phoebe tells Holden that the lyric he is reciting is wrong. The actual line from the poem is "If a body meet a body comin' through the rye."

    Holden leaves Phoebe's room to go call an former teacher named Mr. Antolini.

    "I wanted to phone this guy that was my English teacher at Elkton Hills, Mr. Antolini." (Page 173)


    Chapter 23 (Pages 175-180) "Holden Dances with Phoebe and Borrows her Christmas Money"

     Holden calls Mr. Antolini a favorite teacher to go stay at his house. Holden admires Mr. Antolini very much because he was the only teacher that took care of James Castle's dead body.

    Holden returns to Phoebe's room and dances 4 dances with her.

    "I took my shoes off, and then I danced with her for a while. She's really damn good. I don't like people that dance with little kids, because most of the time it looks terrible. I mean if you're out at a restaurant somewhere and you see some old guy take his little kid out on the dance floor. Usually they keep yanking the kid's dress up in the back by mistake and the kid can't dance worth a damn anyway, and it looks terrible, but I don't do it out in public with Phoebe or anything. We just horse around in the house. It's different with her anyway, because she can dance." (Page 175)


    Holden's parents come home and Holden hides in Phoebe's closet.

    Holden decides to leave his parents' house.

    He is running out of money and borrows Phoebe's "Christmas money" $8.65.

    "Listen. You got any dough, Phoebe? I'm practically broke. Just my Christmas dough. For presents and all. I haven't done any shopping at all yet...You can take it all. You can pay me back...How much is it, for God's sake?...Eight dollars and eighty-five cents,Sixty-five cents. I spent some." (Page 179)

    Holden is upset and crying right before he leaves.

    "Then, all of a sudden, I started to cry. I couldn't help it. I did it so nobody could hear me, but I did it. It scared the hell out of Phoebe when I started doing it., and she came over and tried to make me stop, but once you get started, you can't just stop on a goddam dime." (Page 179)

    Holden gives Phoebe his red hunting hat.

    "Then I took my hunting hat out of my coat pocket and gave it to her. She likes those kind of crazy hats. She didn't want to take it, but I made her. I'll bet she slept with it on." (Page 180)


    Reluctantly, Holden leaves his family's apartment.

    "I didn't give much of a damn any more if they caught me. I really didn't. I figured if they cuaght me, they cuaght me. I almost wish they did, in a way. (Page 180)


    Chapter 24 (Pages 180-193) "Mr. Antolini warns Holden he is headed for a fall"

    Holden goes to Mr. Antolini's apartment. The Antolini's have just had a dinner party and the place is a mess.

    Holden notices that Mrs. Antolini is much older that Mr. Antolini.

    Mr. Antolini  had obviously been drinking, and he continues to drink.

    Holden and Mr. Antolini have a long discussion about a class Holden took called "Oral Expression" (giving speeches).

    Mr. Antolini is worried about Holden and tries to give him advice, but Holden is too tired to listen to him.

    "Frankly, I don't know what the hell to say to you Holden. I have a feeling that you're riding for some kind of a terrible, terrible fall. But I don't honestly know what kind...Are you listening to me? (page 186)

    Mr. Antolini makes up the couch for Holden to sleep on.

    After Holden falls asleep, he wakes up suddenly to find Mr. Antolini stroking his hair.

    Holden is sure that Mr.Antolini is making a homosexual pass at him.

    "I woke up all of a sudden. I don't know what time it was or anything, but I woke up. I felt something on my head, some guy's hand. Boy, it really scared the hell out of me. What it was, it was Mr. Antolini's hand. What he was doing was,  he was sitting on the floor right next to the couch, in the dark and all, and he was sort of petting me or patting me on the goddam head. boy, I'll bet I jumped about a thousand feet. (Page 191-192)

     Holden panics and leaves.

    "Boy, I was shaking like a madman. I was sweating, too. When something perverty like that happens, I start sweating like a bastard. That kind of stuff's happened to me about twenty times since I was a kid. I can't stand it." (Page 193)


    Chapter 25 (Pages 194-213) "Holden Has a Breakdown"

    Holden takes the subway to Grand Central Station and sleeps on a bench.

    He reads a magazine at the train station and it depresses him because the articles are about hormones and cancer.

    "I started reading...I looked exactly like the guy in the article with lousy hormones. So I started getting worried about my hormones." (Page 195)

    "I'd had this sore on the inside of my lip for about two weeks. so I figured I was getting cancer." (Page 196)

    Holden leaves Grand Central and sees 2 men delivering Christmas trees and it depresses him because they are cursing.

    "One guy kept saying to the other guy, 'Hold the sonuvatbitch up! Hold it up, for Chrissake!" It certainly was a gorgeous way to talk about a Christmas tree." (Page 196)

    He tries to eat breakfast but when he tries to eat he is nauseous.

    "I didn't eat the doughnuts. I couldn't swallow them too well. The thing is, if you get very depressed about something, it's hard as hell to swallow." (Page 196)

    Holden is on 5th Avenue and Holden is imagining that he will disappear if he crosses the street.

    "I kept walking and walking up Fifth Avenue...all of sudden, something very spooky started happening. Everytime I came to the end of a block and stepped off the goddam curb, I had this feeling that I'd never get to tthe other side of the street. I thought I'd just go down, down, down, and nobody'd ever see me again. Boy, did it scare me." (Page 198)

    Holden talks to his dead brother for help.

    "I was talking to my brother Allie. I'd say to him, 'Allie, don't let me disappear.'" (Page 198)

    He is going to go "out West", but wants to say good-bye to Phoebe before he leaves.

    "I decided I'd go away. I decided I'd never go home agin and I'd never go away to another school agian.  Idecided I'd just see old Phoebe and sort of say good-bye to her and all, and give back her Christmas dough, and then I'd start hitchhiking my way out West."(Page 198)

    Out West Holden states he will pretend to be deaf and mute, so he does not have to talk to anyone.

    "I didn't care what kind of job it was, though. Just so people didn't know me and I didn't know anybody. I though what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn't have to have any goddam conversations with anybody." (page 198)

    Holden imagines living in a house in the woods and getting married.

    "I'd build a little cabin somewhere...right near the woods, but not in them, because I'd want it to be sunny...I'd meet this beautiful girl that was also a deaf-mute and we'd get married." (Page 199)

    In Holden's imaginary future out West he would have children, but hide them from the world. They would NOT go to school.

    "If we had any children, we'd hide them somewhere. We could buy them lots of books and teach them how to read and wrote by ourselves." (Page 199)

    Holden goes to Phoebe's school. This upsets him because he finds curse words on the wall in the school.

    "You can't trust anybody in a goddam school." (Page 201)

    "I saw something that drove me crazy. Somebody'd written 'Fuck You' on the wall. It drove me damn near crazy...I figured it was some perverty bum that'd sneaked in the school late at night...I kept picturing myself catching him at it, and how I'd smash his head on the stone steps till he was good and goddam dead and bloody" (Page 201)

    Holden finds another curse word.

    "I went down by a different staircase, and I saw another 'Fuck You' on the wall. I tried to rub it off with my hand again, but his one was scratched on, with a knife or something. If you had a million years to do it in, you couldn't rub out even half the 'Fuck You' signs in the world. It's impossible." (Page 202)

    Holden goes to the museum to wait for Phoebe. In the mummy room he finds more curse words on the wall.

    "Then, all of a sudden, you'd never guess what I saw on the wall. Another 'Fuck You'...That's the whole trouble. You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any." (page 204)

    Holden imagaines when dies that someone will write curses on his tombstone.

    "I think, even, if I ever die, and they stick me in a cemetery, and I have a tombstone and all, it'll say 'Holden Caulfield' on it, and then what year I was born and what year I died, and then right under that it'll say 'Fuck You.' I'm positve of that" (Page 204)

    Holden passes out in the museum.

    "When I was coming out of the can, right before I got to the door, I sort of passed out. It was a funny thing, though. I felt better after I passed out...I didn't feel so damn dizzy any more." (Page 204)

    Holden meets Phoebe on the steps of the museum and they argue, because she wants to run away with him.

    "I was almost all set to hit her. I thought I was going to smack her for a second. I really did...I wanted her to cry till her eyes were practically dropped out. I almost hated her." (Page 207)

    Holden finally promises he will not run away.

    Phoebe and Holden go to the zoo, Phoebe is still angry at Holden and refuses to talk to him.

    Finally, Holden and Phoebe go to the park and Phoebe rides the carousel.

    "That's one thing about carousels, they always play the same songs." (Page 210)

    Holden watches Phobe on the carousel, he sits in the pouring rain and cries.

    "It began to rain like a bastard. In buckets, I swear to God...I stuck around on the bench for quite a while. I got pretty soaking wet...I felt so damn happy all of a sudden." (Page 213)

    Chapter 26 (Pages 213-214) "The Missing Details"


    The story ends exactly where it began. Holden is "talking" to his therapist in the rest home. The reader does not know if Holden will actually get better.


    Holden fills the reader in on some missing details of his story.


    He went home.

    He is sent to a "rest home" to recover from his breakdown.

    Holden is in therapy..

    He is planning on going back to school next fall.

    Holden is tired of people asing him if he is better and will "apply himself" in school.

    "It's such a stupid question, in my opinion. I mean how do you know wht you're going to do till you do it? The answer is, you don't. I think I am, but how do I know? I swear it's a stupid question." (Page 213)

    Holden regrets ttelling so many people how he was feeling.

    "I'm sorry I told so many people about it." (Page 214)

    Holden seems to have changed a little, He may even value other people.

    "I sort of miss everybody I told about. Even old Stradlater and Ackley, for instance. I think I even miss that goddam Maurice." ( Page 214)