Short Summary Of The Catcher In The Rye

1457 Words6 Pages
Holden resents for becoming a screenwriter, after his release in one month. As he waits, Holden recalls the events of the previous Christmas. Holden begins his story at Pencey Preparatory Academy, an exclusive boarding school in Agerstown, Pennsylvania, on the Saturday afternoon of the traditional football game with a rival school. Holden has been expelled from Pencey due to poor work and is not to return after Christmas break, which begins the following Wednesday. He plans to return home on that day so that he will not be present when his parents receive notice of his expulsion. After forfeiting a fencing match in New York by forgetting the equipment aboard the subway, he is invited to the home of his history teacher, Mr. Spencer. Spencer…show more content…
During the meeting, Holden annoys Carl with his fixation on sex. After Luce leaves, Holden gets drunk, awkwardly flirts with several adults, and calls an icy Sally. Exhausted and out of money, Holden wanders over to Central Park to investigate the ducks, breaking Phoebe's record on the way. Nostalgically recalling his experience in elementary school and the unchanging dioramas in the Museum of Natural History that he enjoyed visiting as a child, Holden heads home to see Phoebe. He sneaks into his parents' apartment while they are out, and wakes up Phoebe – the only person with whom he seems to be able to communicate his true feelings. Although Phoebe is happy to see Holden, she quickly deduces that he has been expelled, and chastises him for his aimlessness and his apparent dislikes towards everything. When asked if he cares about anything, Holden shares a selfless fantasy he has been thinking about (based on a mishearing of Robert Burns's Comin' Through the Rye): he pictures himself as the sole guardian of thousands of children playing in a huge rye field on the edge of a cliff. His job is to catch the children if, in their abandon, they come close to falling off the brink; to be, in effect, the "catcher in the rye". Because of this misinterpretation, Holden believes that to be the "catcher in the rye" means to save children from losing their
Open Document