The Catcher in the Rye
by J. D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye Chapter 7 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Then I went over and laid down on Ely's bed. Boy, did I feel rotten. I felt so damn lonesome. (7.29)
Even though he's judged Ackley to be pimply and disgusting (and painted a portrait of him as a social outcast), Holden still reaches out to the guy when he feels lonely. Cue major character conflict: he hates everybody, but he’s lonely.
Everybody was asleep or out or home for the weekend, and it was very, very quiet and depressing in the corridor. […] All of a sudden, I decided what I'd really do, I'd get the hell out of Pencey – right that same night and all. I mean not wait till Wednesday or anything. I just didn't want to hang around any more. It made me too sad and lonesome. […] Besides, I sort of needed a little vacation. My nerves were shot. They really were. (7.58)
Holden has a good point: empty corridors really are kind of depressing. His point about his “nerves” is just a little clue that there might be something more serious wrong.
One thing about packing depressed me a little. I had to pack these brand-new ice skates my mother had practically just sent me a couple of days before. That depressed me. I could see my mother going in Spaulding's and asking the salesman a million dopy [sic] questions—and here I was getting the ax again. It made me feel pretty sad. She bought me the wrong kind of skates—I wanted racing skates and she bought hockey—but it made me sad anyway. Almost every time somebody gives me a present, it ends up making me sad. (7.60)
What’s sad about a present? Well, first, they’re the wrong skates; second, his mother went to all this trouble to buy him skates, and now he's let her down by "getting the ax" at yet another school. When he says that he finds any present from anyone to be depressing, it seems as though he feels he doesn't ever deserve gifts.