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The Catcher in the Rye | Study Guide

J. D. Salinger

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Chapter 15

Course Hero's video study guide provides in-depth summary and analysis of chapter 15 of J.D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye.

The Catcher in the Rye | Chapter 15 | Summary



Holden wakes up at about 10 and thinks again of calling Jane but instead calls Sally Hayes. He had known Sally for a while and once thought her intelligent. Now he thinks that she's "quite a little phony." Sally agrees to meet him to see a show later in the day. Holden packs and takes a cab to Grand Central Station, where he can store his suitcases until he can go home on Tuesday.

As Holden eats breakfast at a sandwich bar, two nuns sit down near him. Both eat only coffee and toast, making Holden feel guilty about his large breakfast. The nuns, teachers from Chicago, discuss literature with Holden. He wonders how a nun handled the "sexy" parts of books but doesn't ask. Holden makes a charitable contribution to the nuns but feels guilty because he wishes he'd given them more.


The nuns' cheap suitcases remind Holden of Dick Slagle, his roommate at Elkton Hills, who hid his cheap suitcases under his bed. Holden decided to stow his expensive suitcases under his bed so that Dick wouldn't feel bad, but his plan failed when Dick displayed Holden's expensive luggage on a rack and allowed other students to think that they belonged to him. Holden can't get past the fact that people shouldn't "give a damn whose suitcases are better, but they do." This memory prompts Holden's donation to the nuns but also reveals Holden's troubled sense of privilege. He is sensitive to the power of wealth. The headmaster who fawned on wealthy parents, the roommate who was ashamed of his suitcases, and Holden's guilt over not donating more to the nuns suggest that he objects to money's power to generate influence and status.

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