The events he narrates take place in the few days between the end of the fall school term and Christmas, when Holden is sixteen years old.
Plot[ edit ] Holden Caulfielda teenager, is living in an unspecified institution in Southern California near Hollywood in Caulfield intends to live with his brother D. B, an author and World War II veteran whom Holden is angered at for becoming a screenwriterone month after his discharge.
As he waits, Holden recalls the events of the previous Christmas. Holden begins his story at Pencey Preparatory Academy, an exclusive boarding school in Hagerstown, Pennsylvaniaon the Saturday afternoon of the traditional football game with a rival school.
Holden has been expelled from Pencey due to poor work and is not to return after Christmas break, which begins the following Wednesday. He plans to return home on that day so that he will not be present when his parents receive notice of his expulsion. After forfeiting a fencing match in New York by forgetting the equipment in the subway, he is invited to the home of his history teacher, Mr.
Spencer is a well-meaning but long-winded old man. Spencer greets him and offers him advice, but embarrasses Holden by further criticizing Holden's work in his subject in a rude manner.
Holden returns to his dorm wearing the new red hunting cap he bought in New York.
His dorm neighbor Robert Ackley is one of the few students also missing the game. Ackley, unpopular among his peers, disturbs Holden with his impolite questioning and mannerisms.
Holden, who feels sorry for Ackley, tolerates his presence. Later, Holden agrees to write an English composition for his roommate, Ward Stradlater, who is leaving for a date.
However, Holden is distressed to learn that Stradlater's date is an old friend, Jane Gallagher, whom Holden had romantic feelings for and feels protective of. Since Ackley and Mal had already seen the film, they end up just playing pinball and returning to Pencey.
When Stradlater returns hours later, he fails to appreciate the deeply personal composition Holden wrote for him about the baseball glove of Holden's late brother Allie, and refuses to reveal whether he slept with Jane. Enraged, Holden punches him, and Stradlater easily wins the ensuing fight.
When Holden continues insulting him after the fight, Stradlater knocks him unconscious and leaves him with a bloody nose. After leaving for Ackley's room, Holden is disappointed when he treats him rudely.
Fed up with the so-called "phonies" at Pencey Prep, Holden impulsively decides to leave Pencey early, sells his typewriter to earn money, and catches a train to Penn Station in New York. Holden intends to stay away from his home in a hotel until Wednesday, when his parents would have received news of his expulsion.
Aboard the train, Holden meets the mother of a wealthy, obnoxious Pencey student named Ernest Morrow, and lies to her about himself and her son. In a taxicabHolden inquires with the driver about whether the ducks in the Central Park lagoon migrate during winter, a subject he brings up often, but the man barely responds.
Holden checks into the dilapidated Edmont Hotel. He spends an evening dancing with three tourist women from Seattle in the hotel lounge and enjoys dancing with one, though is disappointed that he is unable to hold a conversation with them.
Following an unpromising visit to Ernie's Nightclub in Greenwich VillageHolden becomes preoccupied with his internal angst and agrees to have a prostitute named Sunny visit his room.
His attitude toward the girl changes the minute she enters the room; she seems about the same age as him. Holden becomes uncomfortable with the situation, and when he tells her all he wants to do is talk, she becomes annoyed and leaves.
Even though he still paid her the right amount for her time, she returns with her pimp Maurice and demands more money. Holden insults Maurice, and after Sunny takes the money from Holden's wallet, Maurice punches him in the stomach and leaves with Sunny. Afterwards, Holden imagines that he has been shot by Maurice, and pictures murdering him with an automatic pistol.
The next morning, Holden, becoming increasingly depressed and in need of personal connection, calls Sally Hayes, a familiar date. Although Holden claims that she is "the queen of all phonies", they agree to meet that afternoon to attend a play at the Biltmore Theater.The Catcher in the Rye: The Catcher in the Rye, novel by J.D.
Salinger (). Its teenage protagonist, Holden Caulfield, recounts a few days in his life, showcasing his confusion and disillusionment. Holden desperately searches for truth among the ‘phonies,’ which causes him to become increasingly unstable emotionally.
The Catcher in the Rye: A Teaching Unit Abstract The main goal of this unit is for students to critically think about the novel and the world around them. This unit is built on students responding to and exploring elements within the novel.
6 Responses to Chapman, Hinckley, Bardo, and the Murderer’s Handbook — The Catcher in the Rye. J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye’s plot is built around a special plot device called the flashback. In fact, almost all of the novel consists of one long flashback.