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The Catcher in the Rye Chapter 15: Summary & Quotes

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will review Chapter 15 of the J.D. Salinger novel, 'The Catcher In the Rye.' Holden Caulfield meets some interesting people in New York City.

Killing Time

After a run-in with a pimp while hiding out in New York City to avoid facing his parents with the news of his expulsion from Pencey Prep, Holden Caulfield looks for new ways to kill time. In Chapter 15 of the J. D. Salinger novel, The Catcher in the Rye, Holden eats breakfast and prepares for a date with Sally Hayes. In this lesson, we will learn more about Holden and the interesting people he meets in New York.

Sally Hayes

Why does Holden seem to avoid things that could make him happy? When Holden wakes up, he really wants to call Jane, a girl that he met summer before last that he can't stop thinking about. After deciding he isn't 'in the mood', he calls Sally Hayes instead. Sally is beautiful, knows a lot about literature and the theater, and is great to make out with, but Holden thinks she is phony and not that smart: 'She gave me a pain in the ass, but she was very good-looking.' Regardless, Holden and Sally make plans to meet for a show later that afternoon.

Grand Central Station

Holden checks out of the hotel and having no idea what to do with himself for the next few days, takes a taxi to Grand Central Station. On the way, Holden counts his money and thinks about his parents. Holden's father makes a lot of money as a corporate lawyer, but he loses quite a bit of it investing in Broadway shows. Holden's mother has been in poor health due to nerves since the death of Allie, Holden's younger brother who died of leukemia. Is Holden's idea of avoiding his parents by going to New York City working for him? Holden puts his bags into a strong box at Grand Central Station and finds a place to order a big breakfast.

Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station

Cheap Suitcases

Two nuns sit down next to Holden at the counter with their cheap suitcases. Holden usually hates people with cheap suitcases. He had a bad experience once with a roommate that had cheap suitcases. 'You think if they're intelligent and all, the other person, and have a good sense of humor, that they don't give a damn whose suitcases are better, but they do.' The nuns seem unsure of what to do with their suitcases, so Holden helps them out and strikes up a conversation with them. He offers them a ten dollar contribution for the next time they take up a collection, for which they are grateful.

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