The Catcher in the Rye
by J. D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye Chapter 22 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
"You don't like anything that's happening."
It made me even more depressed when she said that.
"Yes I do. Yes I do. Sure I do. Don't say that. Why the hell do you say that?"
"Because you don't. You don't like any schools. You don't like a million things. You don't."
"I do! That's where you're wrong—that's exactly where you're wrong!
Why the hell do you have to say that?" I said. Boy, she was depressing me. (22.18-23)
All right, keep telling yourself that, Holden. He won’t admit it, but his depression admits it for him: if it weren’t true, he wouldn’t feel so depressed when Phoebe points out that he hates everything.
"I thought it was 'If a body catch a body,'" I said. "Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy." (22.55)
A few times in The Catcher in the Rye, Holden says things like "I'm a madman" or "I'm crazy" or "It's a crazy idea." At first, it sounds like joking self-deprecation… but by this point in the novel, we’re starting to agree with him.