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Holden's Unmade Phone Calls

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Sam Meinel

on 31 March 2015

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Transcript of Holden's Unmade Phone Calls

Holden constantly wants to call different characters throughout the book, yet does not ever follow up on these thoughts.
First time
"The first thing I did when I got off at Penn Station, I went into this phone booth. I felt like giving somebody a buzz ... So I ended up not calling anybody" (59). Holden rattles off a list of people he wants to call, including D.B., Phoebe, Jane, Sally Hayes, and Carl Luce from Whooton.
Second Time
Throughout Chapter 11, Holden is constantly thinking about Jane, but never tries to call her. "All of the sudden, on my way out of the lobby, I got old Jane Gallagher on the brain. I got her on, and I couldn't get her off" (76).
The significance of these unmade phone calls shows that Holden is constantly wanting to reach out to someone. He chooses to not because he thinks of himself as not being in the mood for it.
There is really a deeper meaning behind these unmade phone calls. Holden keeps up the appearence that he just doesn't feel like calling the people he says, but it is clear that something else is going on. For these people, Holden wants to maintain those good memories that he has of them, and does not want them to change their opinion of him. Holden also often acts like an isolationist, even though he says he wants to talk to these people.
Third Time
Eventually, Holden gets up the courage to call Jane, but when her mom picks up, Holden chickens out and hangs up. "I figured maybe I'd give old Jane a buzz and see if she was home for vacation yet ... The only trouble was, her mother answered the phone, so I had to hang up ... I should've at least asked her if Jane was home yet ... But I didn't feel like it" (116).
Holden's Unmade Phone Calls
Full transcript