Essay, Research Paper: Catcher In The Rye

Literature: Catcher in The Rye

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The Catcher in the Rye is about a man named Holden Caulfield, who is narrating
the story. Holden is in a psychiatric hospital in California, where at the given
moment he was spending his time. He then had a flashback of when he was a young
man at the age of sixteen. The story starts off at Pencey Prep, Holden's present
school at which he was flunking out of. Holden had only a few more days before
his expulsion from Pencey, so he had been paying his final dues to his admired
instructors, such as Mr. Spencer, Holden’s elderly History teacher. After
spending some bothersome hours with Mr. Spencer, Holden returned to his room in
Ossenburger Memorial Hall. There he was visited by Robert Ackley whom he
disliked with a great passion, however he still had a conversation with him
about school matters. While having an unpleasant discussion with Ackley, the
conversation was then soon interrupted by Ward Stradlater, Holden’s roommate.
Stradlater notified Holden that he was going on a date with Jane Gallagher that
night, an old girlfriend of Holden’s. Holden had agreed to write a paper for
Stradlater while he was on the date. After eating dinner, Holden began to write
the paper and while doing so, became immersed in old memories of his brother
Allie whom he loved dearly, but sadly had passed away. When Stradlater had
arrived back at the dorm, Holden interrogated him about the date he had with
Jane hoping that Stradlater and Jane did not have a sexual interlude with each
other. Stradlater was upset by Holden’s line of questioning and the two boys
ended up in a confrontation and physical fight together. Holden lost the
altercation trying to protect his old girlfriend. After the fight that Holden
had with Stradlater, he attempted, without success, to befriend Ackley, for he
didn’t want to leave Pency Prep without a friend. However it seemed that
Ackley was neither interested nor concerned about the fight that Page 2 the two
roommates had together. Inevitably, Holden decided to leave Pencey early and
stay in New York until the day that he intended to arrive at home had
approached. On the train ride to New York Holden met a mother of student that
attended Pencey. While he had been maintaining a ‘nice’ conversation with
the woman, Holden soon had found him self lying about his self and the woman’s
son just so he could seem to be gregarious and benevolent, meantime he was
snickering at him self that he was being the phony that he had always rejected
and found to be repulsive. After he had reached his destination at the New York
Penn Station, Holden had contemplated on calling someone, but then had
determined that it was too late. Holden then took a taxi to an older hotel in
which he received a rather ‘crummy’ room. Once in his room, he called a girl
by the name of Faith Cavendish. He was given her phone number, and when in
conversation with her, he again seemed to be phony, acting suave and
sophisticated, as he had done with the woman on the train. While sitting wide
awake late on a Saturday night, in his room, Holden had a long divagation
whether or not to call Phoebe, his little sister for whom he had high respect
for and also wanted to go see. Because he is very much astir at the moment, and
not at all drowsy, Holden went down the Lavender Room, a club at the hotel. When
entering the club, Holden was put at a deficient table and is not even able to
order a drink. He ended up sitting with three women who were secretaries from
Seattle Washington . Holden bought drinks and danced with the girls, although
after the whole evening they ended up leaving him with the check, without so
much as a thank you. Holden then went to the lobby of the hotel and for a while
thought about Jane Gallagher and a summer that the two of them had spent
together. After being confused and disturbed about Jane, him and Stradlater,
Holden decided to go to another night club in Greenwich Village. It was a club
that his older brother, D.B., had taken him. D.B. was in California being a
prostitute. When he came to the club he met a girl named Lillian Simmons, who
had in fact dated Page 3 D.B. Holden also considered that girl to be a phony and
an imbecile, like most of the world. He left the club and walked back to the
hotel in the exquisite night atmosphere. On the way up the elevator, back to his
room in the hotel, Holden was set up with a prostitute by Maurice the elevator
man. When the prostitute arrived at Holden’s room, Holden become too
apprehensive and embarrassed about the situation. Once she was there though
Holden changed his mind and wanted to just converse with the prostitute who
didn't know what to do. She ended up leaving after an argument over the money
that was to be paid for her service. Holden did not pay her the rest of the
money, and because of that, Maurice later came back with the prostitute, he took
the rest of money that Holden presumably "owed" him and beat him
leaving Holden severely aggravated and depraved. After Maurice and the
prostitute left, Holden felt so despondent and melancholy that he even thought
about committing suicide. Sunday morning Holden met two nuns in a subway
restaurant and gave them a donation and ended up having a extremely enjoyable
conversation with them. Later that afternoon, Holden arranged to have a date
with Sally Hayes but then went to the park hoping to see his sister Phoebe. He
didn't see his sister, but he did help a child with his skates and in doing so
he was brought back memories of when he was a child . He went from the park to
his date, for which he was early. The date ended up going horribly and then he
asked Sally if she would run away with him and that caused her to leave him
crying. After his date, Holden went to get a sandwich and tried to contact Jane
on the phone, but there was no answer. So instead, Holden went to a bar with
Luce a student from Columbia that he knew. Luce acted as though Holden was still
a child , and though Holden hated it he remained polite. After Luce left, Holden
rode around in a cab for a some time, and then decided to go see Phoebe in the
middle of the night. Holden had worked his way into the apartment of his parents
went in and wake Phoebe up. She was Page 4 rather astonished to see him and
questioned his reasons for being there. He lied to her, being the ‘phony’
and a ‘liar’ that he is. He then had a good talk with her about school and
people and everything else on the face of the earth. It was very apparent that
Holden liked his sister very much. Eventually, Holden's parents came home from
their party and he was almost caught at home. Finally he gets out though and
ends up at Mr. Antolini's house, his favorite teacher. With Mr. Antolini Holden
got some advise that was very meaningful to him even though Mr. Antolini was
drunk at the time. The respect that Mr. Antolini obtained was quite impressive
coming from Holden, for Holden was usually demeanor with people. Holden had
spent the night on the couch at Mr. Antolini's house because he was so courteous
to Holden. Holden then spent the next day attempting to leave town but because
of Phoebe was incapable, for he wanted so much to spend time with her. Finally
he had put her on a carousel and sat down in the rain and started to cry out of
disappointment/frustration/anger/joy whichever, because he was just a confused
little boy. The story ended with Holden back in the institution being
disrespectful to people again as was before and still being in being in the same
state of mind that it started with.

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