Catcher in the Rye, Chapters 10 – 15

Here are the yay/nay/gray thoughts of the day for the next segment of Catcher in the Rye:


In Chapter 11, Holden reveals some of his past history with Jane. He says, “You don’t always have to get too sexy to get to know a girl” (76). He reveals an intimacy with Jane that isn’t sexual. Jane listens to his story about Allie, and they play checkers on her porch, and Holden asks about the creepy step-dad. Holden explains his feelings about Jane: “My mother didn’t think Jane was pretty, even. I did, though. I just liked the way she looked, that’s all” (78). It’s sweet and intense. It feels honest, and I haven’t seen that much from from Holden in the book so far.

Spoiler alert: Holden doesn’t sleep with the prostitute: “It was against my principles and all, but I was feeling so depressed I didn’t even think. That’s the whole trouble when you’re feeling depressed you can’t even think” (91). Holden confesses to being a virgin (92). When he is sitting on the bed and asks just to talk, it’s so sad and almost pathetic. He wants to know why she is a prostitute or what her work schedule is like. He really wants someone to be intimate with, but doesn’t seem to know how. Also, when he says he felt like jumping out the window to commit suicide, he doesn’t because he wouldn’t want people walking past to see all the gore. This showed a deeper maturity that I didn’t expect Holden to have. Here he showed that he could think about someone other than himself – whether that be a very young prostitute or a mere stranger walking down the street.


In chapter 15, Holden goes on and on about suitcases, which seem to be a status symbol for him. Holden roomed with a boy named Dick Slagle that had inexpensive suitcases, but after two months, they asked to move. Holden explains, “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, but 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” (109). This section was sad and petty to me. Something that would seem so insignificant – suitcases, for crying out loud – became a source of contention for two friends, ultimately tearing their friendship apart. They could have remained friends, but because one was had nicer junk than the other, their friendship basically fell apart.


Holden can be sweet and sincere sometimes, such as when he talks about Jane. Yet sometimes he says things like, “Real ugly girls have it tough” (85). How thought provoking… * sarcasm *

Sometimes he seems totally indifferent, and sometimes he is nice, and sometimes he is a jerk. Human nature? Or just teenage nature?

More {silly} Questions:

Supposedly, Holden’s dad wants his son to go to Oxford (29). Yet Holden states later on, “All those Ivy League bastards look alike. My father wants me to go to Yale, or maybe Princeton, but I swear, I wouldn’t go to one of those Ivy League colleges, if I was dying, for God’s sake” (85). Does Holden just not pay attention to what his dad says because those are three very different schools or is the point more about Holden not wanting to go to an Ivy school because he thinks the rich students are all pretentious? Or a little of both?


The Catcher in the Rye, Chapters 10 – 15

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