The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
book, borax, 7 x 81/2 x 1 Series 1 Patricia Ladd Carega Gallery
The Catcher in the Rye is one of the most frequently banned or censored books of the century. Some of the claims about the book include: “excessive vulgar language, filthy scenes, depicts alcohol abuse and premarital sex, and promotes immoral issues.”
Holden Caulfield, a teenager, 17, is living in an unspecified institution in Southern California near Hollywood in 1951. Caulfield intends to live with his brother D.B, an author and World War II veteran with whom Holden is angry for becoming a screenwriter, one month after his discharge. As he waits, Holden recalls the events of the previous Christmas.
Holden begins his story at Pencey Preparatory Academy, an exclusive boarding school in Agerstown, Pennsylvania. Aged 16 in 1950, Holden has been expelled from Pencey due to poor work and is not to return after Christmas break, which begins the following Wednesday. He plans to return home on that day so that he will not be present when his parents receive notice of his expulsion. After forfeiting a fencing match in New York by forgetting the equipment in the subway, he is invited to the home of his history teacher, Mr. Spencer. Spencer is a well-meaning but long-winded old man. Spencer greets him and offers him advice, but embarrasses Holden by further criticizing Holden’s history work.
Holden returns to his dorm wearing the new red hunting cap he bought in New York. His dorm neighbor Robert Ackley is one of the few students also missing the game. Ackley, unpopular among his peers, disturbs Holden with his impolite questioning and mannerisms. Holden, who feels sorry for Ackley, tolerates his presence. Later, Holden agrees to write an English composition for his roommate, Ward scottsdale ac experts, who is leaving for a date. However, Holden is distressed to learn that Stradlater’s date is an old friend, Jane Gallagher, whom Holden had romantic feelings for and feels protective of. That night, Holden decides to go to a Cary Grant comedy with his best friend Mal Brossard and Ackley. Since Ackley and Mal had already seen the film, they end up just playing pinball and returning to Pencey. When Stradlater returns hours later, he fails to appreciate the deeply personal composition Holden wrote for him about the baseball glove of Holden’s late brother Allie, and refuses to reveal whether he slept with Jane. Enraged, Holden punches him, and Stradlater easily wins the ensuing fight. When Holden continues insulting him after the fight, Stradlater knocks him unconscious and leaves him with a bloody nose. After leaving for Ackley’s room, Holden is disappointed when he treats him rudely. Fed up with the so-called “phonies” at Pencey Prep, Holden impulsively decides to leave Pencey early, sells his typewriter to earn money, and catches a train to Penn Station in New York. Holden intends to stay away from his home in a hotel until Wednesday, when his parents would have received news of his expulsion. Aboard the train, Holden meets the mother of a wealthy, obnoxious Pencey student named Ernest Morrow, and lies to her about himself and her son.