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Chapter 15: The Catcher In The Rye
Transcript of Chapter 15: The Catcher In The Rye
- Holden's hatred for cheap suitcases shows how he does not appreciate objects that are not worth of value and describes how important wealth is to him.
"I hate it when somebody has cheap suitcases... but I can even get to hate somebody just looking at them if they have cheap suitcases with them" (108)
Holden's high mark in English shows that if he puts his mind to something, he can achieve it.
"All I said was English is my best subject" (110)
- Holden sees the most important thing in life is materialistic objects and that money decides his fate, especially coming from a wealthy family. At the end of the chapter, he gives $10 to a couple of nuns as a donation and wishes he gave more and states: "Goddamn money,. It always ends up making you blue as hell" (113). We view his opinion on money go back and forth in this chapter.
- Holden judges the intellectual of others. We see this at the beginning of the chapter when he states how he used to think Sally Hayes was intelligent because of her knowledge of literature and theater.
He believes she is not smart because she dates boys like himself
"I used to think she was quite intelligent to my stupidity. The reason I did was because she knew quite a lot about the theatre and plays and literature and all that stuff" (105)
(from Romeo and Juliet) - While talking with the nuns, Holden begins to talk about the play Romeo and Juliet. The nuns are very interested in this and ask him what he likes about it. Holden begins to talk about Mercutio who gets killed by Juliet's cousin. The reader can see how Holden may look up to Mercutio and how Mercutio is what Holden may want to become.
Holden resents betrayal, that is why he does not like Romeo who was the cause for Mercutio's death
"The thing is, it drives me crazy if somebody gets killed-especially somebody very smart and entertaining and all- " (111)
Holden asking Sally Hayes out on a date:
Holden asks Sally out on a date because she is everything that Jane Gallagher is not: conventional, superficial, stupid and phony.
Gave the nuns $10:
Holden enjoyed the conversation he had with the nuns
"I said I'd enjoyed talking to them a lot, too. I meant it too" (112)
The reader can notice that Holden may have felt bad for the nuns because of they did not have as much as Holden when it comes to materialistic objects. Holden may have felt he should put his money to good will and donate it to the nuns.
Holden wakes up on a Sunday morning and decides to call an old girlfriend (Sally Hayes) and makes a date that day for 2:00 p.m. He checks out of his hotel and leaves his bags at a lock box at Grand Central Station. While eating a large breakfast at a sandwich bar, we meets two nuns who are school teachers from Chicago, newly assigned to a convent "way the hell uptown", apparently near Washington Heights. They discuss Romeo and Juliet and Holden gives them a donation of ten dollars.
This chapter takes place in New York. Holden is seen at Grand Central Station after he leaves his hotel.
After, Holden goes to a sandwich bar where he eats lunch and talks to two nuns.
-Brossard and Ackley
-Ernest Morrow's mother
"All the two of them were eating for breakfast was toast and coffee. That depressed me. I hate it if I'm eating bacon and eggs or something and somebody else is only eating toast and coffee" (110)
Holden feels guilty about bring privileged. His family clearly has money, and it bothers him that not everyone has the same advantages—especially the nuns, who he later comments never get to go to "swanky lunches."
- kissing, caressed passionately
- 'Hell of a'
- a reception or performance
- military reservation in southeastern New York state
- Characteristic of a person whose beliefs, attitudes, and practices are conventionally middle class
"It isn't important, I know, but I hate it when people have cheap suitcases. It sounds terrible to say it, but I can even get to hate somebody, just looking at them." (108)
Holden is very phony because he is very materialistic and judgemental. He obviously comes from a family with money, and we see how he looks down on people who may have less than him.
Madness and Depression
"After they left, I started getting sorry that I'd
only given them ten bucks for their collection. But the thing was, I's made that date to go to a matinee with old Sally Hayes, and I needed to keep some dough for the tickets and stuff. I was sorry anyway, though. Goddamn money. It always ends up making you feel blue as hell" (113)
Holden makes a donation to the nuns after
describing himself as an atheist. He has positive
feelings for any non-sexual woman, but his depression clouds over even the most pleasant encounters.
"While I was eating my eggs, these two nuns with suitcases and all- I guessed they were moving to another convent or something and were waiting for a train-came in and sat down next to me at the counter. They didn't seem to know what the hell to do with their suitcases, so I gave them a hand. They were these very inexpensive looking suitcases, the ones that aren't made out of genuine leather or anything...You think if they're intelligent and all,the other person, and have a good sense of humor, that they don't give a damn whose suitcases are better, bu they do. They really do. It's one of the reasons why I roomed with a stupid bastard like Stradlater. At least his suitcases were as good as mine" (108-109)
Holden begins ranting about his hatred for cheap suitcases after seeing the nuns with their inexpensive suitcases at the beginning of page 108. He begins to have a tantrum about his old room mate who did not have suitcases as nice as Holden's and how hard it is to be room mates with someone who does not have nice suitcases. This shows his phoniness and how judgemental he really is.
Helluva- 'Hell of a'- We see Holden say 'hell
of a' quite a lot throughout this chapter and even through the book. Salinger does this to show how Holden would talk in real life.
"... because he had helluva good sense of humor..." (109)
Money and Wealth
- Money is repeated throughout the chapter as well as wealth. We view Holden's obsession with money and wealth and materialistic objects by the amount of times he brings it up through chapter 15
- Holden constantly repeats about cheap suitcases and how he does not like them or the people who own them. This shows his obsession with materialistic objects and how judgemental he is
1. Why would Holden go on a date with Sally after calling her a phony and unintelligent?
2. Do you think Holden looks up to Mercutio?
3. Why does Holden go back and forth with his opinions on people and objects (money)?
4. Does him and his different opinions makes him an unreliable narrator?
5. Do the nuns seem to change Holden in any way? (Making him feel like he should have donated more)