Ever since it was first published in 1951, this novel has been the coming-of-age story against which all others are judged. Read and cherished by generations, the story of Holden Caulfield is one of America's literary treasures.
The Catcher in the Rye is a timeless tale of a teenager... read more
Teenager, Holden Caulfield, is having trouble with yet another boarding school, Pency. The book starts off with a school football game, one that everyone but Holden attends. Holden is starting to get sick of the school and the people in it, often criticizing people such as the President and... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Teenager, Holden Caulfield, is having trouble with yet another boarding school, Pency. The book starts off with a school football game, one that everyone but Holden attends. Holden is starting to get sick of the school and the people in it, often criticizing people such as the President and many other students. He is trying to find something good that he can remember about Pency and finally leave. After meeting his history teacher, and going meeting with his roommates, Stradler and Ackley, Holden finally leaves Pency in the middle of the night, bound for New York. He however is not on his way home, as this is one of the many schools that Holden has been kicked out of, so his parents are anything but happy. Through the entire novel Holden comes across many people, all of them seing to be "phonies" -except for a special few.
Holden arrives in New York City and checks into a hotel where he has a few encounters. First off he went to the bar and danced with these three thirty-year-old women. After they had to leave and Holden was alone he eventually went back to the elevator where the elevator man got him a prostitute, he ended up not using the services and sent her away and payed her for her time. However, the manager (the elevator man) said Holden was paying less then he said, but Holden says he paid the price, so he beat Holden up taking the money he says was due. Holden ends up spending two days in the city, often drunk, lonely, and depressed. He meets up with an old friend and has a date with an off-and-on girlfriend, but both experiences leave him more depressed than before.
Finally, Holden sneaks back into his parents' house to visit his sister Phoebe, with who he can always talk. After this Holden feels a better, and goes to the apartment of his old teacher. Holden leaves midnight when he finds his teacher petting his head in a way that creeps him out. Holden gets depressed again and spends his afternoon wandering around.Holden writes his little sister a letter describing how he'll move out west and delivers it to his sisters school. His plan doesn't work however when his sister tries to go with him and fights with him. Holden ends up staying in the town and the book ends with him and his sister on a merry-go -round.
“It’s not bad when the sun is out, but the sun only comes out when it feels like coming out.”Holden Caulfield
“The man falling isn’t permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom. He just keeps falling & falling. The whole arrangements designed for men who, at some time or other in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn’t supply them with. So they gave up looking. They gave it up before they ever really even got started.”Mr. Antolini
“Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”Holden Caulfield
“The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one”Mr. Antolini quoting psychoanalyst Wilhelm Stekel
“I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes.”Holden Caulfield
“If you was a fish, Mother Nature'd take care of you, wouldn't she? Right? You don't think them fish die when it gets to be winter, do ya?”Horwitz
“It's partly true, too, but it isn't all true. People always think something's all true.”Holden Caulfield
“I don't know exactly what I mean by that, but I mean it.”Holden Caulfield
“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.”Holden Caulfield
“You know what the trouble with me is? I can never get really sexy--I mean really sexy--with a girl I don't like a lot. I mean I have to like her a lot. If I don't, I sort of lose my goddam desire for her and all. Boy, it really screws up my sex life something awful. My sex life stinks."”Holden Caulfield
“I don't care if it's a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I'm leaving it. If you don't, you feel even worse.”Holden Caulfield
“I'm quite illiterate, but I read a lot.”Holden Caulfield
“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.”Holden Caulfield
“Goddam money. It always ends up making you blue as hell.”Holden Caulfield
“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.”Holden Caulfield
“I mean how do you know what you're going to do till you do it? The answer is, you don't. I think I am, but how do I know?”Holden Caulfield
“That guy Morrow was about as sensitive as a goddam toilet seat”Holden Caulfield
“It was that kind of a crazy afternoon, terrifically cold, and no sun out or anything, and you felt like you were disappearing every time you crossed a road.”Holden Caulfield
“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around — nobody big, I mean — except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff — I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. 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”Holden Caulfield
““It was one of the worst schools I ever went to. It was full of phonies. And mean guys. You never saw many mean guys in your life.””Holden Caulfield
“"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them."”Holden Caulfield
“Besides, I'm not going to tell you my whole goddam autobiography or anything.”Holden Caulfield
“They advertise in about a thousand magazines, always showing some hot-shot guy on a horse jumping over a fence. Like as if all you ever did at Pencey was play polo all the time. I never even once saw a horse anywhere near the place.”Holden Caulfield
“"Since 1888 we have been molding boys into splendid, clear-thinking young men." They don't do any damn more molding at Pencey than they do at any other school. And I didn't know anybody there that was splendid and clear-thinking and all. Maybe two guys. If that many. And they probably came to Pencey that way.”Holden Caulfield
“All morons hate it when you call them a moron”
“Ask her if she still keeps all her kings in the back row.”Holden Caulfield
“Anyway, I'm 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.”
“I mean <lawyers> are all right if they go around saving innocent guys' lives all the time, and like that, but you don’t do that kind of stuff if you’re a lawyer. All you do is make a lot of dough, <...> and look like a hot-shot. And besides. Even if you did go around saving guys’ lives and all, how would you know if you did it because you really wanted to save guys’ lives, or because you did it because what you really wanted to do was be a terrific lawyer. <...> How would you know you weren’t being a phony? The trouble is, you wouldn’t.”Holden Caulfield
“I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It's awful.”Holden Caulfield
“...It was a very stupid thing to do, I'll admit, but I hardly didn't even know I was doing it, and you didn't know Allie.”Holden Caulfield
“I can be quite sarcastic when I’m in the mood.”Holden Caulfield
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