Study Guide

The Catcher in the Rye Chapter 7

By J. D. Salinger

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Chapter 7

  • Holden heads over to Ackley's room and is all, "How about playing Canasta?" and Ackley is all, "Stop bleeding all over my room."
  • Because Ackley's roommate Ely is out of town, Holden asks to sleep in his bed, probably so he doesn't have to go back and face Stradlater.
  • Ackley refuses, since he doesn't know what time his roommate is going to get back.
  • He does want to know what the fight was about, however. Holden has a smart answer for this (of course): he was defending Ackley's honor to his roommate.
  • Holden lies in Ely's bed anyway and thinks about Jane—more specifically, about Jane with Stradlater in the back of Ed Banky's car. See, most of the guys at Pencey just talk about sex, but Stradlater actually does it.
  • Like this one night, he double-dated with Stradlater in the very same car. Holden was in the front with his date and Stradlater in the back with his.
  • All night, he could hear Stradlater coercing his date, with a very quiet, sincere voice, while she said things like "No—please. Please don't" and so on and so forth.
  • Hm. That is… troubling. No wonder Holden was so upset.
  • By now, Ackley has fallen asleep. Holden wakes him up and asks him what's the deal with joining a monastery, and if you have to be Catholic to do it. Ugh, he'd probably join the wrong kind of monastery, anyway—the kind with a bunch of "stupid bastards."
  • Ackley isn't pleased about attack on his religion (we now know he's Catholic—he talked earlier about going to Mass the next day, Sunday), so Holden leaves snippily.
  • Way to alienate all your friends, dude.
  • Walking down the empty (and depressing, natch) dorm corridor, Holden figures it's a good time to leave.
  • He packs up quickly, only pausing to get depressed about the ice skates that his mother sent him a few days earlier. Apparently presents make him sad, especially when they're the wrong kind.
  • Holden sits down to count up his money.
  • He's got a decent chunk since his grandmother just sent him money for his birthday, which she does about four times a year. Aw. Love grandmas! And, after selling his ninety-dollar typewriter down the hall for twenty bucks, he's got a little more.
  • Just as he's leaving, Holden, "sort of crying," puts on his red hunting hat and yells down the corridor at the top of his lungs, "Sleep tight, ya morons!" He almost trips on some peanut shells one of those morons left all over the stairs.
  • Can't a guy even sneak out of his fourth prep school with any dignity?

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