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The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye


by J. D. Salinger

Sally Hayes Timeline and Summary

  • One of the pictures Holden has in his room is of Sally Hayes. Ackley picks it up and most likely puts it back in the wrong place.
  • When Holden gets off the train in New York, Sally is one of the people he thinks about calling.
  • He recalls that she recently wrote him a "long, phony letter" at school, asking if he wanted to come over and help her trim her Christmas tree.
  • After the nuns episode, Holden ends up calling Sally Hayes. She rambles on about all these men that are just crazy about her, and they make a date to see a matinee together.
  • Holden decides that if Sally's mother (who doesn't like him at all) had to take up a collection, she'd make everybody kiss her butt to donate money, and then she'd use it to go out to a swanky lunch.
  • Holden buys tickets for a show with the Lunts, since he's sure Sally will love it.
  • Sally shows up late, but looks so cute that Holden doesn't care. When they make out in the cab on the way to the matinee, he tells her he loves her, and she returns the favor, but at the same time tells him to grow out his hair.
  • At the end of the first act, the pair goes out into the lobby to smoke with all the phonies. Holden is disgusted by the fact that Sally is killing herself to make phony conversation with this guy George, who is a "big deal" Ivy-league-type.
  • Sally wants to go roller skating at Radio City, and Holden agrees. Mostly, though, she wants to show off her butt in those little skating skirts.
  • While Holden does think she has a nice butt, she can't skate to save her life. They go to get (soft) drinks and Holden shares with Sally his fantasy about running away.
  • Sally's all, "How about we don't do that," and repeatedly asks Holden to stop screaming at her as he gets more and more worked up about the whole thing.
  • Sally is livid when Holden tells her she's a pain, and the date ends on these not-so-friendly terms, even though Holden tries over and over to apologize.
  • When Holden's had too much to drink after meeting with Carl Luce, he drunk dials Sally, who is not so happy about that. He tells her he'll come over to trim her Christmas tree.
  • Sally berates Holden for being drunk and tells him to go to bed. She hangs up on him.