Study Guide

The Catcher in the Rye Chapter 14

By J. D. Salinger

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Chapter 14

  • Holden is depressed. We're surprised. (Not.)
  • He smokes some cigarettes, watches the dawn, and talks aloud to his brother Allie, which he sometimes does when he's feeling not-so-great.
  • This leads us into another reminiscence, this time about an incident with one of Holden's childhood friends, Bobby Fallon. Allie wanted to go with the two boys (Holden and Bobby) to play, and Holden said no, since Allie was too little.
  • He regrets this now, so he keeps saying out loud to Allie, "Okay. Go home and get your bike and meet me in front of Bobby's house."
  • In bed, Holden wishes he could pray, but he's sort of an atheist. Apparently the disciples annoy him, because they were so useless to Jesus.
  • He used to argue about it all the time with a Quaker named Arthur Childs in one of the prep schools he attended.
  • Holden feels pretty sure that Jesus wouldn't have sent Judas to hell, even though the guy betrayed him. So the disciples never even got what they deserved.
  • In fact, all the kids in his family are atheists, and that if there's one thing he can't stand, it's a minister, since they always give sermons in phony voices.
  • Knock knock knock.
  • Oh, hey! It's Maurice and Sunny at the door, and they want five more dollars.
  • Holden refuses, as they told him it would only cost five. They argue a bit, and Sunny finally takes Holden's wallet off dresser and removes the money.
  • Holden starts to cry. Maurice gives him a shove, and Sunny says to leave the kid alone.
  • In a spectacular demonstration of how not to improve a situation, Holden calls Maurice a "goddam dirty moron."
  • When asked to repeat it, Holden obliges. With more adjectives.
  • Maurice punches him hard in the stomach. Holden staggers around and into the bathroom, pretending (in his own mind) that he's taken a bullet to the gut and is dying. He imagines coming back at Maurice with an automatic, calling Jane, and having her bandage up his guts.
  • Disgusted with himself, Holden notes that the movies can really ruin you. Heard that!
  • Getting back into bed, Holden says he'd jump out the window, if he wouldn't end up with a bunch of rubbernecks staring at his gory body.

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