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the Catcher in the Rye. By, Zach Hodgin. J. D. Salinger. Jerome David Salinger was born on New Years Day in New York City in 1919. Born to a Jewish father, Sol, and Catholic mother Marie Marie changed her name to Miriam to pass as Jewish His family called him Sonny

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The catcher in the rye
the Catcher in the Rye


Zach Hodgin

J d salinger
J. D. Salinger

  • Jerome David Salinger was born on New Years Day in New York City in 1919.

  • Born to a Jewish father, Sol, and Catholic mother Marie

  • Marie changed her name to Miriam to pass as Jewish

  • His family called him Sonny

  • Salinger attended a private school. McBurney School.

  • Managed the fencing team, appeared in plays, and wrote for the school newspaper.

  • Had trouble fitting in

  • Started attending New York University but dropped out

  • Sol, sent him to Austria to learn the family trade

  • Left Austria a month before it was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938

J d salinger1
J. D. Salinger

  • Started attending Ursinus College in Pennsylvania but dropped out.

  • Columbia Univeristy

  • Started dating socialite Oona O’Neill but left him for Charlie Chalpin.

  • Drafted in the US Army and served from 1942 to 1944.

  • Fought in Combat on D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge

  • Entered Dachau labor camp

  • Hospitalized for combat stress reaction

  • "You never really get the smell of burning flesh out of your nose entirely, no matter how long you live.“

  • Started writing The Catcher in the Rye after meeting with Ernest Hemingway.

J d salinger2
J. D. Salinger

  • Published in 1951. Was a huge success

  • Secluded himself in Cornish, New Hampshire

  • There are about five more of his works that are said to be published in the next few years


  • Setting - Late forties or early fifties. Beginning at Holden Caulfields private school in Pennsylvania and recounting memories from his time in New York

  • Point of View – First Person

Main characters
Main Characters

  • Holden Caulfield – protagonist, narrator, 16, junior in high school. No commitment, socially awkward teenager, rebellious.

  • Phoebe Caulfield – Holden’s sister, clever, sensitive, the only person that seems to love Holden and accepts him.

Secondary characters
Secondary characters

  • Mr. and Mrs. Caulfield – lawyer and a homemaker, well-to-do, superficial. Mr. Caulfield was Catholic. “They’re grand people” and “phony”

  • Allie – Holden’s younger brother, died of leukemia

  • D.B. – Holden’s older brother, genius writer, moved to Hollywood to write scripts “phony”

  • Jane Gallagher – cares about her. Holden’s childhood friend

  • Sally Hayes – occasional girlfriend, Holden wants to move out west with her. “phony”

  • Stradlater – Holden’s dorm roomate and Pencey Prep, athletic, popular, prideful. Get into a fistfight “phony”

Secondary characters1
Secondary Characters

  • Carl Luce – old friend of Holden’s. Holden admires him

  • Sunny – prostitute that Holden pays for

  • Maurice – elevator operator, Sunny’s clientele agent

  • Ackley – stays in the room next to Holden at Pencey Preparatory. Occasional best friend. Describes him as a “terrific bore” and says he has bad hygiene and is rude.


  • Holden gets kicked out of Pencey Prep for failing all of his classes.

  • Stradlatergets back from a date with Jane Gallagher and Holden thinks they had sex.

  • Stradlater and Holden get into a fist fight after Holden repeatedly calls him a moron. “All moron’s hate it when you call them a moron”

  • Holden leaves Pencey for Christmas break and will not return

  • Leaves for New York to stay with D.B.

  • At the hotel he meets some women at a bar but they aren’t interested.

  • Maurice talks him into hiring a prostitute


  • Holden anxiously waits for the girl

  • Sunny is very young and Holden wants to talk. After Sunny gets upset, Holden pays her to leave

  • Sunny returns with Maurice and he punches him in the stomach and steal his money

  • The next morning, Holden calls his girlfriend Sally Hayes to go see a movie

  • After the movie they go ice skating at Rockefeller Plaza

  • Holden vents about his hatred of the city and asks Sally if she wants to move out west with him and get married.

  • Sally declines and Holden calls her a “royal pain in the ass” leaving her to cry.


  • Holden visits a bar where he is a repeating customer. He knows some people in the bar including Carl Luce who Holden admires.

  • Holden becomes belligerently drunk and makes a phone call to Sally

  • After gaining soberness, Holden visits his sister Phoebe at his families apartment.

  • His parents are at a party in Connecticut

  • When he gets up to the apartment, he wakes Phoebe and they talk. Holden describes to her that he imagines himself running in a rye field catching children from falling off a cliff.

  • Holden’s parents return home so he leaves to stay with an old teacher of his.


  • Mr. Anolini cares about Holden, giving him advice.

  •  “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.”

  • After falling asleep, Holden is wakened by Mr. Anolini petting him on the head. Feeling violated, Holden leaves and spends the night on a bench in Grand Central Station.

  • The next day, Holden decides to move out west to become a deaf-mute and marry a deaf-mute woman and live in a log cabin.

  • Holden tells Phoebe his idea and she wants to go with him but he declines and she becomes upset

  • To cheer her up he takes her to the zoo

  • She rides a carousel and seeing how much fun she has, he becomes happy for the first time.

  • He decides not to leave


  • The story ends at the zoo

  • The reader is told that Holden has been retelling this story from a sanatorium and is going through psychotherapy.

  • He regrets telling this story to the reader as he now misses all of the people he came across including Ackley, Stradlater, and Maurice.

  • “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”


  • “And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out of somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”

  • “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”

  • "Anyway, I'm sort of glad they've got the atomic bomb invented. If there's ever another war, I'm going to sit right the hell on top of it. I'll volunteer for it, I swear to God I will.“

  • “He probably was scared he’d fractured my skull or something when I hit the floor. “It’s too bad I didn’t.”

Themes and motifs
Themes and Motifs

  • Alienation as a form of rebellion and self-protection against society

  • The cross between childhood and maturity

  • Superficiality

  • Lying, deception

  • Sexuality, intimacy


  • The image of the rye field – Holden wants to protect children playing in a rye field from falling off. Holden wants to protect the innocence of children from the corruption of the adult world.

  • Red hunting hat – Holden’s unique style. He never wears it around people he knows. Symbolizes his introverted personality but need for companionship.


  • Between 1961 and 1982, The Catcher in the Rye was the most censored book in high schools and libraries in the United States

  • Several shootings have been associated with the novel

  • Mark David Chapman identified with Holden

  • On the night of Lennon’s shooting, Chapman was found with a copy of the book in which he had written "This is my statement, Holden Caulfield.”

  • After Ronald Reagen’sassasination attempt police found a copy of the book on John Hinkley Jr.’s nightstand.