The Catcher In The Rye

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Chapter Summaries

Chapter 1-2

Chapter 3-4 Holden talks about how much of a terrible liar he is "im on the way to the store to buy a magazine,even, and somebody asks me im going im liable to say im going to the opera" Holden talks about his room and the heat was on "it felt cosy". holden brought a red hunting hat in New York. reads a book called 'out of africa' the library gave him the wrong book. holden talks to Stradlater while he is shaving and says how handsome he is. Stradlater asks Holden to write a composition for him for english Holden says" im the one flunking out of this goddamn place and you're asking me to write you a goddamn composition". Holden talks about the hunting hat he just brought. Holden is jelous that stradlater is taking Jane Gallagher out on a date. Ackley comes in. " Jane Gallagher i said i even got up from the washbowl when he said that. I damn near dropped dead. you're damn right i know her."

Chapter 5-6

Chapter 7-8

7 - Holden's in Ackleys room talking and then tries to fall asleep on Ackleys roomates bed who is away for the weekend. But he has trouble falling asleep because he cant stop imagining Jane fooling around with Stradlater. He decides to wake Ackley up to talk with him some more asking if he could run off and join a monastery without being Catholic. Ackley gets annoyed that Holden woke him up again and that is very late. Holden is annoyed by Ackleys phoniness and decides to leave. In the dorms hallway he makes the decision to leave for New York that night instead of waiting until Wednesday. After staying there for a few days in secret waiting for his parents to digest the new of his expulsion he will return to their apartment. He packs his bag and begins to cry. As he heads into the hallway, he yells “Sleep tight, ya morons!” to the boys on his floor before stepping outside to leave Pencey forever

Chapter 8 - Summary by Marizanne McGrath

Holden walks in the cold to the train station, He likes trains at night, since it's the only time he can read those dumb stories in the cheap magazines without puking at them, Holden takes his hat off. Holden meets an attractive woman on the train who is about forty or forty-five years old. The woman sees the Pencey sticker on his suitcases and starts a conversation, because her son Ernest Morrow goes there. Holden lets us know that Ernest is the biggest jerk in the history of mankind. Holden lies to the woman, telling her his own name is Rudolf Schmidt (the janitor in his dorm). Then he goes on and on about what a wonderful boy Ernest is. Holden offers the woman a cigarette, but she declines, (as the train isn't a smoker). Holden convinces her to take a cigarette anyway, (he admires the way she smokes). She asks about Holden's nose (which just started bleeding again), and Holden tells her he got hit in the face by a snowball. He makes up more stories about what a wonderful guy Ernest is and the Holden offers to buy Mrs. Ernest's Mom a drink. She gives him the, "Um, what are you, twelve?" in the nicest way possible tho. The woman then asks why Holden is going home for Christmas so early (it's Saturday, and the kids are supposed to leave Wednesday). She looks worried, which Holden says means really she's just nosy. Holden (a.k.a. Rudolf) details that he has to have an operation to remove a tumor on his brain. (Holden continues to make up lies) He then has to start reading a timetable he's got in his pocket because it's the only way he can stop himself from lying. The woman goes back to reading the Vogue, but before they part ways, she invites Holden (or Rudolf) to come visit her son Ernest in Massachusetts sometime during the summer, he says no in a pilot way because this summer he has to go to South America with his grandmother, (which means that timetable did nothing to stop his lying). Besides, he wouldn't visit Ernest Morrow for anything in the world.

Chapter 9-10

Chapter 9

Holden Caulfield gets off the train, he gets a sudden urge of wanting to “buzz” - call someone. He first gets the idea of ringing up his brother, D.B, but remembers that he is in hollywood, then his sister Phoebe but she is asleep and scared his mother might answer. He also thought of giving Jane Gallagher’s mother a ring to find out when Jane’s vacation start but he didn’t feel like it. Holden then thought of calling Sally Hayes knowing her christmas vacation have started, Holden use to go around Sally’s frequently. She wrote him a long phony letter asking if he could help her trim the christmas tree on christmas eve. He didn’t end up calling Jane, frightened that Jane’s mother might ring up his mum and tell her that he is in New York.

Chapter 11-12

Chapter 11

Previous to this chapter Holden Caulfield is staying at a crumby hotel in New York. He is sitting in the lobby of the hotel currently, where he is reminiscing about his old time friend Jane Gallagher. The entire chapter is Holden’s thoughts of Jane and the time he spent with her and how he hated Stradlater for taking her out on a date because Holden new Stradlater was a real dog. Holden describes every aspect of Jane and even goes on to say “You don’t always have to get too sexy to know a girl.”

- 12 Holden catches a cab to Ernie’s, a nightclub, which Holden and his brother, D.B used to visit frequently. Holden tries to make conversation with the cab driver; Horwitz and asks him about the ducks in the lagoon in Central Park and where they go in winter, getting an angry response from Horwitz, Holden decides to change the subject. Holden desperate for social interaction, asks Horowitz, “Would you care to stop off and have a drink with me somewhere?” To which Horwitz replies,” I ain’t got no time for liquor bud”. Holden gets to Ernie’s, which was ‘jam-packed’ and is unimpressed by Ernie the piano player. “..Old Ernie turned around on his stool and gave this very phony, humble if he was a helluva humble guy. It was very phony..” Holden is shown to a table and runs into Lillian Simmons who used to date D.B, not interested in interacting with Lillian; Holden is forced to leave Ernie’s in order to get away from her, “So I left. It made me mad, though, when I was getting my coat. People are always ruining things for you"

Chapter 13-14

Chapter 15-16

15-Holden didn't sleep very long and then felt very hungry after a cigarette because he hadn't eaten in ages. Holden didn't want to call room service because he didn't want to see old Maurice. Holden called up Sally and planned to go to a matinee. Holden got dressed and took a taxi to grand central station which was right near the Biltmore, where he was meeting Sally. Holden then tells us about how his father is quite wealthy and is a corporation lawyer and invests money in Broadway however they usually flop. He then also tells us about how his mother hasn't felt too healthy since his brother Allie died and how she's very nervous so he wont tell her how he lost his job. Holden still had a lot of time before he was meeting up with Sally so he locked up his bags in a strong box at the station and then went and ate a huge breakfast. While he was eating two nuns came in and sat down next to him at the counter. After having a conversation about the donation basket one of them was carrying he gave then 10 bucks as a contribution and they were very grateful. He found out one of the nuns is an English teacher and they started a conversation about Romeo and Juliet.

16- Holden goes to broadway to buy a record for Phoebe called "Little Shirley Beans". During one of his flashbacks he explains how it is a hard record to get and that he tried to buy it off a guy from Pencey Prep, but he wouldn't sell it. He manages to find the record and pays five bucks for it, and it makes him super happy and he is excited to give it to Phoebe, he then heads to the park because he expects Phoebe to be there skating as she likes to skates. It turns out she isn't there and he asks this girl who then tells him that she is probably at the Museum of Natural History, but she isn't there as it turns out it is a Sunday, however Holden goes there anyway. During his walk to the museum Holden looks back at the times when he went to the museum with his class and how it made him happy when he saw the indians, animals, pottery and straw baskets and other stuff. We learn that he liked the indian canoe, indians rubbing sticks to make a fire and having sneaky looks at a squaw bosom as she is weaving a blanket, he also liked an eskimo that was sitting fishing in a ice hole in a icy lake. But the best thing that Holden liked about the museum is that it never changed, everything stayed exactly where it was, the only thing that changed was the people who visited it. As Holden continues to walk to the Museum he kept thinking about all the times Phoebe will go there and how she would see the same stuff, but how she will be different every time she saw it. As Holden makes it to the museum he decides not go in because he knows Phoebe is not going to be there, so he catches a cab and goes to Biltmore.

Important Quotes:

"The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move."

"Nobody'd be different. The only thing that would be different would be you. Not that you'd be so much older or anything. I wouldn't be that, exactly. You'd just be different. that's all."

"Certain things they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone."

Chapter 17-18

Chapter 19-20

19 - - Holden is at Wicker bar N.Y

- He talks about the old French girls who sang and played piano.

- He meets Luce, his old student advisor who only gave sex talks

- Holden tries to start a serious conversation and Luce doesn't want to talk

- Holden finds out that Luce is dating a Chinese women in her late 30's.

- Back at Whooton, Luce would give sex talks hen want everyone to leave because he was worried that someone would say something smarter than him.

- Luce's father is a psychoanalyst

- Holden wanted Luce to stay for a drink but he said he couldn't because he was late for something...

20 - Holden gets drunk and hits on Valencia (the singer at the bar), but she ignores him and leaves. He tries to get the headwaiter to give her a message for him but is convinced he won't even pass it on. Holden drinks until 1am and pretends he is the only person in the bar that has a bullet in his gut. Goes outside to call Jane but calls Sally instead. Goes back in to the bathroom, dunks his head in a sink full of water, and meets the piano player for Valencia. Tries to get him to give Valencia his regards but gets told to go home. Crying, Holden picks up his coat and tries to pick up the hat-clerk girl unsuccessfully. He walks to the park and accidentally drops Pheobe's "Little Shirley Beans" record, which smashes. He picks up the pieces and goes to the lagoon to try and find ducks. Thinking he is going to catch pneumonia from the cold and die, Holden thinks about his funeral and visiting Allie's grave. He skips his coins on the unfrozen bit of lagoon and then decides to go see Pheobe at home.
"I kept putting my hand under my jacket, on my stomach and all, to keep the blood from dripping all over the place."
"I showed her my goddam red hunting hat, and she liked it. She made me put it on before I went out, because my hair was still pretty wet."
"I walked around the whole damn lake - I damn near fell in once, in fact - but I didn't see a single duck."

Chapter 21-22

CHAPTER 21 - Kyle McDonald

Holden is going to go visit his younger sister phoebe but does not want to be caught by his parents.He first tricks the new elevator boy into taking him up to the same floor as his parents house by pretending he had a “bad leg”.Holden limps over towards the Dicksteins side until the elevator doors close.Holden walks to his parents door and opens it quietly and sneaks in.Holden knows he's home by the funny smell his foyer has always had .He reaches Phobes room but realizes she sleeps in D.B’s room when he is in Hollywood.Holden sneaks into D.B’s room and turn on the lamp Holden admires the way she sleeps when he looks at her and also how tidy Phoebe is.Holden sits on the desk and looks through Phobes books for a while.Holden lights up a smoke. Holden wakes up Phoebe, Phoebe is very happy to see him and Holden tries to keep her quiet just in case their parents wake up.Phoebe tells Holden about the play she is going to be in and made sure Holden was going.Holden was worrying about his parents coming home and Phoebe explains that they are going to be out until late.Phoebe tells Holden about how she had been to the movies with Alice and how Alice had a cold and her mother wouldn't stop leaning over her and asking if Alice was ok.Holden gives the broken record to Phoebe.Phoebe tells Holden about how she was pushed by a boy at the park and he follows her and Holden just tells her he probably likes her.Phoebe soon realized that Holden had been kicked out of school and gets mad at Holden and buries herself in her pillow so Holden goes to the living room to get more smokes.

22 -

In this chapter it is just Holden and Phoebe talking about what Holden really likes and why he stopped going to Pencey. In this chapter you get an idea on what kind of characters and personalities that Holden sees as “Phony”.

Phoebe questions what Holden’s career plan, Holden thinks about being a lawyer but soon realises that lawyers in his words are “Phony”. Holden says that if he were to be a lawyer he would not know if he would be saving people’s lives for the good of it or be fake and save people’s lives for the money or to be a very good lawyer. which in Holdens words would mean that in his eyes lawyers are also “Phony.”

Chapter 23-24

23 - Holden made a snappy call to his teacher, Mr Antolini as he was afraid his parents would barge in at any moment. Holden told Mr Antolini that he flunked out of Pencey. Mr Antolini had a good sense of humor about it and said Holden could go right over. Holden asks Phoebe to dance. They danced about four numbers then he turns off the radio. Phoebe tells Holden to feel her forehead then asks him if she feels feverish because she thinks she can make her temperature go up to over a thermometer by crossing her legs and holding her breath while thinking of something very hot. Alice Holmborg showed her how. Suddenly, they heard their parents come home. Holden jammed his cigarette on his shoe, puts it in his pocket, fanned hell out of the air, jumped over to turn off the light, then grabbed his shoes and hid in the closet. Their mother came in and asked Phoebe if she has been smoking and Phoebe says she took one puff then threw it out the window. After she left the room, Holden came out to say he had to leave right away. Phoebe decided to give him her Christmas money, "Eight dollars and... Sixty-five cents", although Holden didn't want to take it. "I don't want to take your Christmas dough." He ends up taking it though then started to cry. When he finished, he gives Phoebe his hunting hat then told her he would give her a buzz if he got the chance, then he left. He walked all the way down the back stairs instead of taking the elevator. He didn't care if they caught him and almost wished they did, but he got out alright.

"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... and the kid can't dance worth a damn anyway, and it looks terrible."

"I don't do it out in public with Phoebe or anything...It's different with her (Phoebe) anyway, because she can dance."

"The elevator boy didn't even see me. He probably still thinks I'm up at the Dicksteins'."

Chapter 24:

At the start of the chapter Holden is describing Mr and Mrs Antolini's very "swanky" apartment. Holden then begins to reminisce over the memories that were had with Mr Antolini the previous times that he had been in that apartment. After Holden finishes giving his impression of both Mr and Mrs Antolini Mr Antolini opens the door still in his bath robe and slippers. Mr Antolini mentions a lot representing how long ago they last met at Pencey by saying things like '... Have a cigarette. Do you smoke now?' and "So. You and Pencey are no longer one,". After this Holden begins to explain how me was kicked out of Pencey and how only parts of English that he flunked (because of Mr Antolini being the English teacher). He began to talk about his Oral expression course that he had to take in Englishbwhich he flunked, he mentioned in first person commentating that he had a dizzy and aching head but Holden said that Mr Antolini looked interested so he thought he better carry on explaining what happened with the Oral expression course. He began to describe the types of students that were in the class and how some were hard done by and some were just annoying to him. After his speech to Mr Antolini about the speeches that went o at Pencey, he began to complain about his headache again and then starts to talk about when people say coffee is ready and really it isn't ready yet he remarks that "that's something that really annoys the hell out of me..." as Holden does. After coffee as finally made, Holden begins to once again describe Mrs Antolini. Just before she goes to bed, she mentions to Mr Antolini about the supplies in the linen closet and Mr Antolini assures her that everything is under control. Mr Antolini brought up a lunch that he had with Holden's father a couple of weeks before, and starts to mention that Holden's father as very concerned about Holden. He begins to say that he knows about it, and then denies being accused of cutting classes. He began to complain about his headache again, and then Mr Antolini began to bring up the idea that he would write Holden a letter in a a or two. He began to discuss the overall topic of his letter, and consistently made sure Holden's concentration was still in the right place. After heir conversation Holden began to say how he got tired all of a sudden. Mr Antolini then said to Holden that one of these days he would need to figure out where he was going with his life and Holden nodded in agreement. After all of their conversation they began to go up and set up Holden's bed for the night and then Mr Antolini mentioned Sally Hayes and he mentioned that they don't have much in common anymore. Then Mr Antolini began t mention Jane Gallagher and the Holden mentioned that he would probably ring her the next day. After both Mr Antolini and Holden went to bed, Holden woke up suddenly to find Mr Antolini's hand on his head "petting or patting me on the goddam head" whilst he was sitting next to Holden's couch-bed. Mr Antolini's reasoning behind this was that he was simply admiring and then Holden couldn't take the embarrassment so he said he had to go. Holden's mind was then set on Mr Antolini being perverted so he made up many excuses to get it of the house and he eventually bolted towards the elevator and left the Antolini's apartment building. He then mentioned "That kind if stuff's happened to me about twenty times since I was a kid. I can't stand it."

Chapter 25-26

Chapter 25 summary

Holden leaves Mr. Antolinis house and goes and sleeps at the train station for the night. the next morning he is awoken by people coming and going to work on the trains and decides to walk through townand go get some breakfast at some of the cheaper restaurants. He buys himself coffee and doughnuts, but only drinks the coffee. As he is walking through town he has has scary thoughts that he is going to pass away and disappear. He sits down and dreams about how he is going to move away west and start a new life. But before he moves away, he wants to say goodbye to his sister Phoebe and give her, her christmas money back. She is at school and he leaves a note at the office for her, telling her to meet him at the museum next door to the school, just after midday.


Character Description of Character Relationship to Holden What we learn about Holden through this relationship Quotes
Mr Spencer Description R'ship to H We learn about H thru' r'ship Quotes
Jane Description R'ship to H We learn about H thru' r'ship Quotes
Sally Description - A pretty, charming girl who is a social-climber and cannot ice skate. She doesn't drink. R'ship to H - Sally Hayes is a girl who Holden has dated in the past. Holden thinks she is attractive, but kind of shallow. Sally still likes Holden, but wants him to go to college and also asks him to grow out his hair. We learn about H thru' r'ship - Holden is realising he has sunk into a depression and tries to ask Sally for help, but he ends up yelling at her and gets out of control, driving her away instead. Quotes '"I don't get hardly anything out of anything. I'm in bad shape. I'm in lousy shape."' - Holden

'"Stop screaming at me, please," she said. Which was crap, because I wasn't even screaming at her.'

Stradlater Description R'ship to H We learn about H thru' r'ship Quotes
Ackley Ackley a peculiar and unhygienic young boy at Pency. He wasn't very popular and could be nasty at times. He was tolerated at Pency, although he never seemed to fit in and got on people's nerves. Ackley was a senior in Pency. He often got on Holden's nerves and Holden thought he had a terrible personality but despite all of this Holden put up with Ackley because he was often the only company he could find e.g. when Stradlater punches Holden in the nose, Holden goes to Ackely for company Through Ackley we see how lonely and desperate Holden is; he will do anything for companionship and doesn't want to be left alone "I wasn't too crazy about him to tell you the truth"

"I felt sort of sorry for him in a way"

Phoebe Holden's 10 year old sister. She attends elementary school in New York, living in an apartment there with her parents. She is very wise for her years, especially when it comes to her brother, otherwise being involved in the same activities and interests as the other children her age. Phoebe is Holden's closest living sibling and he adores her, treasuring her as his link to the world of childhood innocence he has left. From Phoebes side it is more complicated, she loves her brother but also recognises his failings and refusal to grow up. This causes her to get angry with Holden in their encounters, challenging his views. Through Phoebe we first begin to really see the dysfunction in Holden and his stubborn-ness and immaturity. His 'ideal' of childhood innocence seems almost silly as his example of childhood innocence to look to (Phoebe) is anything but, instead outlining his need to grow up and fit into a new role as an adult. '"I suppose you failed in every subject again," she said - very snotty.' '"You don't like anything that's happening." It made me even more depressed when she said that. "Yes I do. Yes I do. Sure I do. Don't say that. Why the hell do you say that?" "Because you don't. You don't like any schools. You don't like a million things. You don't."'
Carl Luce Description R'ship to H We learn about H thru' r'ship Quotes
Sunny Description R'ship to H We learn about H thru' r'ship Quotes
Maurice Description R'ship to H We learn about H thru' r'ship Quotes
Mr Antolini Description R'ship to H We learn about H thru' r'ship Quotes
Ladies in Lavender Room Description R'ship to H We learn about H thru' r'ship Quotes
Taxi Driver 1 Description R'ship to H We learn about H thru' r'ship Quotes
Taxi Driver 2 Description R'ship to H We learn about H thru' r'ship Quotes