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The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye


by J. D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye Chapter 15 Quotes

How we cite the quotes:

All the two of them were eating for breakfast was toast and coffee. That depressed me. I hate it if I'm eating bacon and eggs or something and somebody else is only eating toast and coffee. (15.17)

Holden feels guilty about being privileged. His family clearly has money (he bounces between expensive boarding schools, his father is a "corporation lawyer," he has nice suitcases from Mark Cross, etc.), and it bothers him that not everyone has the same advantages—especially the nuns, who he later comments never get to go to "swanky lunches." Poor little rich boy.

Quote 2

After they left, I started getting sorry that I'd only given them ten bucks for their collection. But the thing was, I'd made that date to go to the matinee with old Sally Hayes, and I needed to keep some dough for the tickets and stuff. I was sorry anyway, though. Goddam money. It always ends up making you blue as hell. (15.32)

Money depresses Holden because it creates interpersonal barriers for him. Since isolation is what makes him feel sad, anything that prevents him from connecting to other people—like money—is going to be depressing. (Just try not having it, Holden, and then see how you feel.)

The one next to me, with the iron glasses, said she taught English and her friend taught history and American government. Then I started wondering like a bastard what the one sitting next to me, that taught English, thought about, being a nun and all, when she read certain books for English. Books not necessarily with a lot of sexy stuff in them, but books with lovers and all in them. Take old Eustacia Vye, in The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy. She wasn't too sexy or anything, but even so you can't help wondering what a nun maybe thinks about when she reads about old Eustacia. I didn't say anything, though, naturally. All I said was English was my best subject. (15.18)

We keep talking about how Holden sees people—not people's professions—yet here he has trouble getting past the fact that this woman is a nun. He might not have much respect for preachers or funeral directors, but he does seem to respect nuns.

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