Study Guide

The Catcher in the Rye Chapter 11

By J. D. Salinger

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Chapter 11

  • Back in the lobby, Holden starts thinking about Jane Gallagher sitting in Ed Banky's car with Stradlater.
  • He never hooked up with Jane himself, but they did hang out a lot.
  • The met when Holden's mother called up her family to complain that their dog kept peeing on their lawn. A few days later, when Holden tried to say hello to Jane, she was an ice princess about it.
  • After he convinced her that he personally didn't care where the dog relieved itself, they ended up going golfing together.
  • Then he gets into a nice long description about this girl. She's not exactly beautiful, he says, but she really knocks him out, especially the way her mouth moves when she talks. She's the only person to whom he's ever shown Allie's baseball mitt.
  • Holden's mother doesn't like Jane, probably because she doesn't like her mom.
  • OK, so there was this one afternoon where he and Jane almost hooked up. It was a rainy Saturday and they were playing checkers on her porch. Her drunk stepfather came out and asked Jane if there were any cigarettes. She refused to look up or answer, even when he asked repeatedly.
  • After he went back into the house, Jane started crying. Holden moved over so sit right next to her and started kissing her everywhere—her nose, eyes, ears—everywhere except her mouth.
  • They ended up going out for a movie, and Holden asked if the stepfather (Mr. Cudahy) had ever tried anything with her. (Good call; we were wondering that ourselves.)
  • But she says no, and he's never really figured out what the deal was.
  • They just held hands. Jane is an excellent hand-holder.
  • Which reminds him of this time in the movie theater. Jane reached over and put her hand on the back of his neck. It's something you always see older people do, Holden remarks, like a mother to her husband or her kid or something, but when a girl Jane's age does it, "it's so pretty it just about kills you."
  • Anyway, the lobby is getting depressing, so he decides to head to Greenwich Village, where D.B. used to take him once in a while to listen to this guy Ernie play the piano.

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