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The Catcher in the Rye
Transcript of The Catcher in the Rye
The chapter begins as Holden is leaving the lobby and he thinks of Jane Gallagher again. He just can't get the date out of his head. He knew Jane pretty well. Their families' summer homes were next door to each other. He recalls the story of how they first met. Her Doberman pinscher used to come onto the Caulfield's lawn and relieve itself. Holden's mom got very upset and confronted Jane's mother. Then, Holden introduced himself to Jane at the club one day. After that they were friends. They used to play tennis in the mornings and golf in the afternoons. Holden said he wouldn't describe Jane as strictly beautiful but she knocked him out. Jane was the only person that Holden ever showed Allie's baseball mitt to. Holden's mother didn't like Jane because she felt snubbed by Jane and her mom. One rainy afternoon when Holden and Jane were playing checkers her alcoholic stepfather came out and asked if there were cigarettes in the house. She didn't answer. When the stepfather left she began crying. Holden and Jane sat down beside each other and Holden began to kiss her all over. He never kissed her on the mouth during their summer but they held hands all the time.
Thinking about Jane with Stradlater absolutely made Holden crazy. So, he got up, went to his hotel room, grabbed his coat and went to catch a cab. He told the cab driver to go to Ernie's, which is a nightclub in Greenwich Village that his brother went to frequently.
Characters In the Chapter
The Chapter takes place inside the hotel Lobby. There isn't a description of this location in this chapter. Holden just sits down in a "vomity-looking chair" (Salinger 76) and reminisces about the past. After thinking of Jane, Holden goes back to his hotel room which is described as a "very crumby room, with nothing to look out of the window at except the other side of the hotel" (Salinger 61)
Holden seems to have an obsession with maintaining people's innocence. This may have come from not being able to save his little brother who he loved so much. This same trait comes through with his relationship with Jane. "...and thought about her and Stradlater sitting in that goddam Ed Banky's car..." (Salinger 76) He knows Stradlater's reputation and he just doesn't want him anywhere near Jane so that her innocence can stay intact.
Since the beginning of the novel Holden has seemed to seclude himself. He seems to be a very lonely person. "...all of a sudden I felt like getting the hell out of the place. It was too depressing." (Salinger 80). Holden seems to go to places with the intention of getting to know people but then shies away and ends up leaving to be by himself.
Holden has a very cynical view of the world, especially the adult world. Earlier in the novel he refers to his brother and it happens again in this chapter. "...my brother D.B used to go quite frequently before he went out to Hollywood and prostituted himself." (Salinger 80). Holden feels as though his brother is a phony because he writes for Hollywood instead of the stories that Holden enjoyed. He feels as though his brother sold himself for the money, which he probably did.
The Catcher in the Rye
Stream of Consciousness
Stream of consciousness is a conversational narrative style. It follows the thought pattern of one narrator who is usually unreliable. The plot moves circularly rather than in a linear form.
Diggressions happen when someone goes off topic and talks about something else other than the main topic. "...Anyway, I was telling you about that afternoon Jane and I came close to necking" (Salinger 78).
An idiom is a saying that is not meant to be taken literally. For example: "she knocked me out though" (Salinger 77), "made a big stink about it" (Salinger 76) and "that killed me" (Salinger 77).
Colloquialism and Vernacular language (slang terms):
This isn't formal literary language. For example: "vomity", "goddam", "phony", "necking", "booze hound" and "whory"
There is use of incorrect spelling to suggest the pronunciation. For example: "goddam" "helluva"
Jane's Stepfather (Mr. Cudahy)
Jane seems to be one of the few people that Holden confides in and actually shows an affection towards. Holden and Jane become very close friends very fast. They played golf and tennis together almost everyday. They also played checkers. Holden found it funny that she kept all her kings in a row at the back of the board and would never move them throughout the game. They held hands constantly. They seemed to be inseparable the entire time they were together. Holden even showed Jane his brother's baseball mitt, she was the only person that he ever showed that to. Holden felt a need to protect Jane, from Stradlater and her stepfather. That one day that the stepfather came out while they were playing checkers and Jane cried, Holden comforted her. He even asked if he had ever tried anything on her. He hadn't. Then, with Stradlater Holden really didn't want her going out with him because of the reputation that Stradlater has. He wants to keep Jane the sweet, innocent, fun girl that he spent the summer with. In my opinion, he has a strong affection for her.
1.Why do you think Jane Gallagher did not respond to her stepfather?
2.Why do you think she ended up crying when her stepfather left?
3.Do you think Holden likes to try and fix people?
4.How does his obsession with protecting people's innocence affect him?
5.Do you think, by the end of the novel, Jane and Holden will meet up? And what do you think Holden would say?
Holden's mind keeps wandering to Jane because of his need to protect her from people like Stradlater. The thought of them doing anything but talking drives Holden crazy because that would mean that he failed at protecting her. He feels a need with everyone around him that he needs to make them feel better. For example, when Jane started crying after her stepfather left, Holden went over and started kissing her all over to try and make her feel better. Jane also represents a time in his life when he was truly happy and maybe Stradlater poses a threat to his memories of her. At the end of the chapter Holden can't take thinking of her anymore so he leaves the hotel. He plans on going somewhere and surrounding himself with other people so he won't be so lonely.