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The Catcher in the Rye | Study Guide

J. D. Salinger

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Course Hero. "The Catcher in the Rye Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 July 2016. Web. 10 June 2023. <>.

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Course Hero. "The Catcher in the Rye Study Guide." July 28, 2016. Accessed June 10, 2023.


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The Catcher in the Rye | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • Saturday to early Sunday

    Holden leaves Pencey because he is flunking and disgusted with his teachers and peers.

    Chapter 1
  • Saturday to early Sunday

    Holden rents a cheap hotel room, where he is assaulted by a prostitute and her pimp.

    Chapter 9
  • Sunday to early Monday

    Holden's date with Sally Hayes ends in a fight.

    Chapter 15
  • Sunday to early Monday

    Holden asks Carl Luce for advice, but the meeting ends in a fight.

    Chapter 18
  • Sunday to early Monday

    Holden walks to Central Park to find the ducks.

    Chapter 20
  • Sunday to early Monday

    Holden sneaks into his apartment to talk with Phoebe.

    Chapter 21
  • Sunday to early Monday

    Holden visits Mr. Antolini, leaving after Mr. Antolini appears to make a pass at him.

    Chapter 24
  • Monday

    Holden decides to hitchhike west and leaves a note for Phoebe to meet him.

    Chapter 25
  • Monday

    Phoebe and Holden walk to the carousel.

    Chapter 25
  • Monday

    Holden watches Phoebe ride the carousel, feeling so happy he could cry.

    Chapter 25

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 The Catcher in the Rye opens with a first-person narrator, who the reader later learns is Holden Caulfield, refusing to ... Read More
Chapter 2 Spencer calls Holden in by his last name, Caulfield. Holden tries to be polite; however, Spencer's scolding tone annoys ... Read More
Chapter 3 Holden admits that he is "the most terrific liar you ever saw." He lies to get away from Spencer, saying he has to go to... Read More
Chapter 4 Holden follows Stradlater to the sink, where the latter shaves. While Ackley is openly disgusting, Stradlater is a "secr... Read More
Chapter 5 After dinner Holden and another Pencey student, Mal Brossard, decide to take a bus into town to see a movie. Holden also... Read More
Chapter 6 Holden worries when Stradlater gets back from his date because he knows his roommate to be unscrupulous. Stradlater pick... Read More
Chapter 7 Holden stumbles into Ackley's darkened room, nose bleeding, and asks to sleep in Ackley's roommate's bed. Holden, sudden... Read More
Chapter 8 Holden walks to the train station, uses snow to wash the blood from his face, and takes the train into the city. At one ... Read More
Chapter 9 In the city, Holden wants to talk to someone, but he can't think of anyone who wouldn't tell his parents that he'd left ... Read More
Chapter 10 Holden changes clothes and heads to the hotel's club, the Lavender Room. He wants to call his sister, Phoebe, but knows ... Read More
Chapter 11 As he exits the Lavender Room, Holden recalled the summer that he and Jane played golf and tennis together. Jane isn't b... Read More
Chapter 12 Holden takes a cab through deserted streets, wishing that he could talk with Phoebe. Holden asks the driver, Horwitz, ab... Read More
Chapter 13 Holden walks to the hotel, wearing his red hat. He notices that the hotel lobby smells like cigar smoke. The elevator at... Read More
Chapter 14 Feeling depressed, Holden lies in bed and smokes as dawn draws near. At such times he talks to Allie, telling Allie to g... Read More
Chapter 15 Holden wakes up at about 10 and thinks again of calling Jane but instead calls Sally Hayes. He had known Sally for a whi... Read More
Chapter 16 Holden walks to a record store to find a record he knows Phoebe would like. A family exits a church and walks ahead of H... Read More
Chapter 17 Sally shows up, and they exchange phony greetings. In the cab to the theater, Holden persuades Sally to kiss him althoug... Read More
Chapter 18 Holden thinks about calling Jane to see if she wants to go dancing. No one answers at Jane's house, so, feeling bored an... Read More
Chapter 19 Holden usually avoided the Wicker Bar, where "two French babes" played piano and sang "dirty" songs to "drive all the ph... Read More
Chapter 20 Holden remains at the Wicker Bar past midnight, getting drunk. He decides to call Jane but changes his mind and calls Sa... Read More
Chapter 21 Holden tricks the elevator boy into letting him off on his family's floor. He enters the apartment quietly and goes to D... Read More
Chapter 22 Holden tries to explain why he flunked out: the students are "phonies" and "mean guys"; even the nice teachers were also... Read More
Chapter 23 Despite the late hour, Mr. Antolini tells Holden to come over. Holden returns to Phoebe's room, and Phoebe tells him tha... Read More
Chapter 24 Holden catches a cab to the Antolinis' apartment, where his teacher greets him, drink in hand. Holden accepts a cigarett... Read More
Chapter 25 It is now nearly dawn on Monday. Holden slept on a bench at Grand Central and awakens depressed and sick. Holden c... Read More
Chapter 26 This chapter frames the long monologue about the crazy days before Christmas. Holden doesn't want to talk about how he w... Read More
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