The Catcher in the Rye
by J. D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye Holden Caulfield 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 bring 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.
I was way early when I got there, so I just sat down on one of those leather couches right near the clock in the lobby and watched the girls. […] It was really nice sightseeing, if you know what I mean. In a way, it was sort of depressing, too, because you kept wondering what the hell would happen to all of them. When they got out of school and college, I mean. You figured most of them would probably marry dopey guys. Guys that always talk about how many miles they get to the gallon in their goddam cars. (17.1)
Sometimes, Holden makes personal connections without ever reaching out—or even talking—to another individual. Here, he even makes himself depressed over the futures of the girls he's watching, even though he doesn’t know the first thing about them.
"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.