“The Catcher in the Rye”—a novel by Jerome D. Salinger, published in 1951—is one of the most brilliant novels in American literature of the 20th century. It describes the delicate inner world of a 17-year-old teenager, Holden Caulfield, who constantly reflects on the reality that surrounds him. “The Catcher in the Rye” was translated into almost all languages of the world, and has had a continuing impact on the minds of both adults and teenagers.
The novel starts from Holden’s expulsion from the Pencey Prep School for failing exams in almost all of his classes, except English. This is not the first time Holden has got kicked out of a school, but this time he has also quarreled with virtually everyone there. He decides to return to New York, where his parents live, but at some point he realizes that he cannot tell them that he was expelled. Thus, he checks into a hotel, planning to stay there for some time.
Holden finds it difficult both to live in this world, and to live outside of it. Trying to dispel his bad mood, he goes to a night club, but quickly gets bored and tired of it, so he returns to his hotel room. The lift operator, who also works as a souteneur, offers him to buy a prostitute. Holden agrees; when they both enter the room, Holden changes his mind, and the girl calls the souteneur: he punches Holden and extorts 10 dollars from him for his inaction.
Next morning, Holden arranges a date with Sally Hayes, a girl whom he dated in the past. Together they go to the theater to watch the play that Sally wanted to see. And once again, Holden gets disappointed: he finds the play foolish, and the actors, whom everyone admires, seem factitious to him. After the play, he and Sally go to skate, but since they both skate poorly, they decide to take a table instead. Holden tells Sally about the feelings of disappointment that overwhelm him in relation to the reality surrounding him; he keeps listing the aspects of life that he “hates,” and offers Sally to leave the city and settle down somewhere in Massachusetts, but then it turns out that Sally does not share his views. He mocks her, and after quarreling they break up.
After getting drunk with an acquaintance, Holden decides to visit his sister, Phoebe, who, as he says, is the greatest girl in the world. They discuss her school life, and then she asks him, what he is going to do with his life. Holden answers that all that he wants is to be the catcher in the rye. He describes how little children would be playing in the rye field, located on a high cliff; his task would be to catch those of them who gets too close to the edge, thus saving them from falling down. Then, willing to avoid meeting with parents and after borrowing some money prom Phoebe, Holden leaves.
He goes to Mr. Antolini’s, his former literature teacher’s residence. Mr. Antolini and his wife sympathize with Holden, and try to give him some advice, but he is too exhausted to delve into their meaning. He falls asleep; in the middle of the night he suddenly awakens, because he feels that Mr. Antolini is palming his forehead. Holden suspects his teacher in bad intentions, and escapes; later he understands that his suspicions were unreasonable, and becomes even more depressed.
Holden decides to leave to the West. He sends Phoebe a note, in which he asks her to come to the rendezvous, because he wants to give her back the money that he borrowed. Phoebe comes with packed suitcases—she wants to go with her brother, and Holden is extremely touched. For some moment, Phoebe starts to behave just like Holden, claiming that she got tired of everything, and Holden suddenly accepts the more responsible and mature point of view, for some time forgetting about his denial of everything around him. He dissuades Phoebe to leave, and together they go to the zoo; Phoebe rides the carousel, and Holden watches her with admiration.
Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1951. Print.
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The Catcher in the Rye Essays Plot Overview
The Catcher within the Rye is set across the Nineteen Fifties and is narrated via a younger guy named Holden Caulfield. Holden is not specific about his region even as he’s telling the tale, but he makes it clean that he's present process treatment in a intellectual health facility or sanatorium. The activities he narrates take location inside the few days between the give up of the fall school term and christmas, whilst Holden is sixteen years vintage.
Holden’s tale begins on the Saturday following the give up of classes on the Pencey prep faculty in Agerstown, Pennsylvania. Pencey is Holden’s fourth faculty; he has already failed out of three others. At Pencey, he has failed four out of five of his lessons and has obtained notice that he's being expelled, however he isn't always scheduled to return domestic to big apple till Wednesday. He visits his elderly records instructor, Spencer, to mention good-bye, however whilst Spencer tries to reprimand him for his terrible educational performance, Holden becomes annoyed.
Back inside the dormitory, Holden is similarly angry with the aid of his unhygienic neighbor, Ackley, and by his very own roommate, Stradlater. Stradlater spends the night on a date with Jane Gallagher, a girl whom Holden used so far and whom he nevertheless admires. all through the route of the nighttime, Holden grows increasingly nervous about Stradlater’s taking Jane out, and while Stradlater returns, Holden questions him insistently about whether he tried to have sex along with her. Stradlater teases Holden, who flies into a rage and assaults Stradlater. Stradlater pins Holden down and bloodies his nostril. Holden comes to a decision that he’s had sufficient of Pencey and will go to ny 3 days early, live in a resort, and now not tell his parents that he's again.
On the train to the big apple, Holden meets the mother of one of his fellow Pencey college students. though he thinks this scholar is a entire “bastard,” he tells the woman made-up stories about how shy her son is and the way well respected he is at college. while he arrives at Penn Station, he is going right into a telephone booth and considers calling several people, however for diverse reasons he comes to a decision against it. He gets in a cab and asks the cab driver wherein the ducks in central Park cross whilst the lagoon freezes, but his question annoys the driver. Holden has the cab driver take him to the Edmont inn, wherein he checks himself in.
From his room at the Edmont, Holden can see into the rooms of a number of the visitors in the opposite wing. He observes a man putting on silk stockings, high heels, a bra, a corset, and an evening robe. He additionally sees a man and a female in every other room taking turns spitting mouthfuls of their beverages into each different’s faces and giggling hysterically. He translates the couple’s behavior as a form of sexual play and is both upset and aroused via it. After smoking multiple cigarettes, he calls religion Cavendish, a lady he has never met but whose variety he were given from an acquaintance at Princeton. Holden thinks he remembers hearing that she was once a stripper, and he believes he can convince her to have intercourse with him. He calls her, and even though she is at first irritated to be referred to as at this kind of overdue hour through a entire stranger, she subsequently indicates that they meet tomorrow. Holden doesn’t want to wait that lengthy and finishes up striking up with out arranging a assembly.
Holden is going downstairs to the Lavender Room and sits at a desk, but the waiter realizes he’s a minor and refuses to serve him. He flirts with 3 ladies in their Nineteen Thirties, who seem like they’re from out of city and are generally inquisitive about catching a glimpse of a movie star. nonetheless, Holden dances with them and feels that he's “1/2 in love” with the blonde one after seeing how nicely she dances. After making a few wisecracks approximately his age, they go away, letting him pay their complete tab.
As Holden goes out to the lobby, he begins to consider Jane Gallagher and, in a flashback, recounts how he got to recognise her. They met while spending a summer season vacation in Maine, performed golf and checkers, and held hands on the films. One afternoon, during a recreation of checkers, her stepfather got here onto the porch where they had been gambling, and when he left Jane commenced to cry. Holden had moved to sit down beside her and kissed her throughout her face, however she wouldn’t let him kiss her at the mouth. That changed into the nearest they came to “necking.”
Holden leaves the Edmont and takes a cab to Ernie’s jazz club in Greenwich Village. once more, he asks the cab driver where the geese in significant Park cross inside the wintry weather, and this cabbie is even extra irritable than the primary one. Holden sits by myself at a desk in Ernie’s and observes the opposite customers with distaste. He runs into Lillian Simmons, one in every of his older brother’s former girlfriends, who invites him to take a seat together with her and her date. Holden says he has to satisfy someone, leaves, and walks again to the Edmont.
Maurice, the elevator operator at the Edmont, offers to send a prostitute to Holden’s room for 5 bucks, and Holden agrees. A younger woman, identifying herself as “Sunny,” arrives at his door. She pulls off her get dressed, but Holden starts offevolved to feel “extraordinary” and attempts to make conversation along with her. He claims that he lately underwent a spinal operation and isn’t sufficiently recovered to have sex together with her, but he gives to pay her anyway. She sits on his lap and talks dirty to him, however he insists on paying her 5 greenbacks and showing her the door. Sunny returns with Maurice, who needs any other 5 dollars from Holden. while Holden refuses to pay, Maurice punches him in the stomach and leaves him on the ground, whilst Sunny takes five dollars from his pockets. Holden is going to bed.
He wakes up at ten o’clock on Sunday and calls Sally Hayes, an attractive woman whom he has dated within the past. They arrange to meet for a matinee showing of a Broadway play. He eats breakfast at a sandwich bar, wherein he converses with two nuns approximately Romeo and Juliet. He gives the nuns ten greenbacks. He attempts to cellphone Jane Gallagher, but her mom solutions the cellphone, and he hangs up. he's taking a cab to principal Park to search for his younger sister, Phoebe, but she isn’t there. He allows one of Phoebe’s schoolmates tighten her skate, and the girl tells him that Phoebe might be inside the Museum of herbal history. although he is aware of that Phoebe’s elegance wouldn’t be on the museum on a Sunday, he goes there anyway, but when he gets there he makes a decision now not to go in and as an alternative takes a cab to the Biltmore hotel to fulfill Sally.
Holden and Sally visit the play, and Holden is aggravated that Sally talks with a boy she is aware of from Andover in a while. At Sally’s concept, they go to Radio metropolis to ice skate. They each skate poorly and decide to get a table instead. Holden attempts to provide an explanation for to Sally why he's sad at college, and in reality urges her to run away with him to Massachusetts or Vermont and stay in a cabin. while she refuses, he calls her a “ache in the ass” and laughs at her while she reacts angrily. She refuses to pay attention to his apologies and leaves.
Holden calls Jane again, but there's no solution. He calls Carl Luce, a younger guy who were Holden’s pupil consultant at the Whooton school and who's now a student at Columbia college. Luce arranges to satisfy him for a drink after dinner, and Holden is going to a film at Radio metropolis to kill time. Holden and Luce meet at the Wicker Bar within the Seton motel. At Whooton, Luce had spoken frankly with some of the boys approximately sex, and Holden attempts to attract him right into a communique approximately it yet again. Luce grows irritated with the aid of Holden’s juvenile feedback about homosexuals and about Luce’s chinese language lady friend, and he makes an excuse to go away early. Holden continues to drink Scotch and pay attention to the pianist and singer.
Pretty inebriated, Holden telephones Sally Hayes and babbles about their Christmas Eve plans. Then he is going to the lagoon in central Park, where he used to look at the ducks as a infant. It takes him a long time to discover it, and by the time he does, he is freezing cold. He then comes to a decision to sneak into his very own rental building and wake his sister, Phoebe. he is pressured to admit to Phoebe that he turned into kicked out of faculty, which makes her mad at him. while he tries to provide an explanation for why he hates faculty, she accuses him of now not liking whatever. He tells her his fable of being “the catcher inside the rye,” a person who catches little kids as they're about to fall off of a cliff. Phoebe tells him that he has misremembered the poem that he took the photograph from: Robert Burns’s poem says “if a body meet a frame, coming thru the rye,” no longer “catch a frame.”
Holden calls his former English teacher, Mr. Antolini, who tells Holden he can come to his condominium. Mr. Antolini asks Holden approximately his expulsion and tries to recommend him about his destiny. Holden can’t conceal his sleepiness, and Mr. Antolini puts him to bed on the couch. Holden awakens to find Mr. Antolini stroking his brow. questioning that Mr. Antolini is creating a homosexual overture, Holden rapidly excuses himself and leaves, drowsing for some hours on a bench at Grand primary Station.
Holden is going to Phoebe’s school and sends her a observe announcing that he is leaving domestic for right and that she need to meet him at lunchtime at the museum. whilst Phoebe arrives, she is wearing a suitcase full of clothes, and he or she asks Holden to take her with him. He refuses angrily, and she or he cries and then refuses to talk to him. knowing she can follow him, he walks to the zoo, and then takes her across the park to a carousel. He buys her a price ticket and watches her trip it. It starts to rain closely, however Holden is so glad watching his sister journey the carousel that he is close to tears.
Holden ends his narrative right here, telling the reader that he is not going to inform the tale of the way he went domestic and were given “sick.” He plans to visit a brand new college inside the fall and is cautiously positive about his future.
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