The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye
by J. D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye Chapter 10 Quotes Page 1

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Quote 1

I ordered a Scotch and soda, and told him not to mix it—I said it fast as hell, because if you hem and haw, they think you're under twenty-one and won't sell you any intoxicating liquor. I had trouble with him anyway, though. "I'm sorry, sir," he said, "but do you have some verification of your age? Your driver's license, perhaps?" I gave him this very cold stare, like he'd insulted the hell out of me, and asked him, "Do I look like I'm under twenty-one?"

"I'm sorry, sir, but we have our—"

"Okay, okay," I say. I figured the hell with it. "Bring me a Coke." He started to go away, but I called him back. "Can'tcha stick a little rum in it or something?" I asked him. I asked him very nicely and all. "I can't sit in a corny place like this cold sober. Can'tcha stick a little rum in it or something?"

"I'm very sorry, sir…" he said, and beat it on me. I didn't hold it against him, though. They lose their jobs if they get caught selling to a minor. I'm a goddam minor. (10.6-10)

Holden doesn’t mind being young—right up until it prevents him from getting a drink. That’s the thing about growing up: you lose something things (like innocence) but you gain others—like the privilege of hangover. Hm. Doesn’t sound so appealing, when you put it like that.

Quote 2

It's immaterial to me," she said. "Hey—how old are you, anyhow?"

That annoyed me, for some reason. "Oh, Christ. Don't spoil it," I said. "I'm twelve, for Chrissake. I'm big for my age." (10.39-40)

Here’s a good reason to want to grow up: adults don’t take kids seriously. But do adults take each other seriously, either? Do we ever see two adults interacting—or is Holden’s perspective of adulthood skewed because he can only ever see it as something different and apart?

Quote 3

While I was changing my shirt, I damn near gave my kid sister Phoebe a buzz, though. I certainly felt like talking to her on the phone. Somebody with sense and all. But I couldn't take a chance on giving her a buzz, because she was only a little kid and she wouldn't have been up, let alone anywhere near the phone. I thought of maybe hanging up if my parents answered, but that wouldn't've worked, either. They'd know it was me. My mother always knows it's me. She's psychic. But I certainly wouldn't have minded shooting the crap with old Phoebe for a while. (10.2)

The one person he seems to feel closest to (and the one person he reaches out to) is his younger sister, Phoebe. Sure—but only because she hasn’t had a chance to disappoint him yet. Just wait until she hits puberty, Holds.

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