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The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye


by J. D. Salinger

Carl Luce Timeline and Summary

  • Carl Luce is one of the people Holden considers calling when he first gets off the train in New York.
  • Luce, who now goes to Columbia University, meets up with Holden on his second night in the city. Holden is already sort of drunk by the time they get together, and he starts asking personal questions almost immediately.
  • Holden reveals that Luce is a pretty sexed-up character. At school, he used to always give the boys talks about sex. He always claimed that certain famous people were "flits" (gay), and Holden has his suspicions that Luce himself is gay.
  • This time, though, Luce isn't too forthcoming about his sex life, which is unfortunate, as that's all Holden wants to talk about.
  • Carl reveals that he's seeing an older (late thirties) Chinese woman.
  • Holden wants to know all about their sex, and Carl takes on an annoying "I'm so worldly and sophisticated and mature that I don't even have to talk to you" attitude.
  • Carl does say, however, that he prefers Eastern philosophy to Western. (Supposedly, that's why he's dating this woman.) He thinks the point of view that sex is both physical and spiritual is more satisfying.
  • Holden gets really excited about this, but Luce finds the conversation beneath him.
  • Luce tells Holden that his mind is immature; Luce's father is a psychoanalyst, and has helped him to understand his mind.
  • Holden begs Luce to have one more drink because he's "lonesome as hell," but Luce takes off anyway.