The Catcher in the Rye Chapter 25: 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 chapter 25 of the J.D. Salinger novel, 'The Catcher in the Rye,' Holden Caulfield's options are limited. In this lesson, we'll look at what Holden does, and how this affects him.

Where Should Holden Go Next?

Holden Caulfield is running out of options and money as he tries to avoid his family. He planned on staying the night with his favorite former teacher, Mr. Antolini, but left immediately when he caught Mr. Antolini rubbing his head in the middle of the night. Having run out of his own money, he is living off of money borrowed from his little sister who is in the fourth grade, Phoebe. Holden needs a plan. In this lesson, we will review what happens next in J.D. Salinger's, The Catcher in the Rye.

Grand Central Station

Not knowing where to go after leaving Mr. Antolini's house in the middle of the night, Holden took a subway to Grand Central Station, where he's stored his bags, and sleeps on a bench in the waiting area. Holden's headache and dizziness are getting worse and his depression is deepening. Thinking back at the way Mr. Antolini was rubbing his head, Holden wonders if it was a pass or not.

While reading a magazine that someone left behind, Holden diagnoses himself with abnormal hormones and cancer.

  • 'That magazine was some little cheerer upper. I finally quit reading it and went outside for a walk. I figured I'd be dead in a couple of months because I had cancer. I really did. I was even positive I would be.' (Holden)

Fifth Avenue

Thinking he needs nutrition, Holden tries to get some coffee and doughnuts. However, the depression is making his throat close up, and he kind of feels like he is about to vomit, so he is unable to eat. Walking down Fifth Avenue during the Christmas season makes him miss his little sister, Phoebe.

As he's walking down the street, Holden begins having panic attacks. Terrified and sweating, he keeps pretending that he's talking to his deceased little brother, Allie.

  • 'I'd say to him, ''Allie, don't let me disappear. Allie, don't let me disappear. Allie, don't let me disappear. Please, Allie.'' And then when I'd reach the other side of the street without disappearing, I'd thank him. Then it would start all over again as soon as I got to the next corner.' (Holden)

Hitchhiking West

Sitting down on a bench, Holden decides he's going to say goodbye to Phoebe and then hitchhike out West. He's going to find a place where he doesn't know anyone, get a job, and pretend to be a deaf-mute so that no one will talk to him.

  • 'I'd cook all my own food, and later on, if I wanted to get married or something, I'd meet this beautiful girl that was also a deaf-mute and we'd get married. She'd come and live in my cabin with me, and if she wanted to say anything to me, she'd have to write it on a goddam piece of paper, like everybody else.'

Holden buys some stationary and takes a note to Phoebe's school telling her to meet him at the art museum at lunch so he can pay her back before he leaves. While at the school, Holden sees profanity written on the wall, and tries to rub it out.

Before going to the museum, he contemplates calling Jane Gallagher, but decides he isn't in the mood. While waiting for Phoebe, he tries to help a couple of kids find the mummies.

In the mummy tomb, again Holden sees profanity etched on the wall in red crayon. He contemplates how it's everywhere, and figures someday, it will be written on his grave stone.

After leaving the tomb, Holden goes to the bathroom with stomach problems and ends up passing out on the bathroom floor. Once he wakes up, he doesn't feel quite as dizzy anymore.

Holden thinks about saying goodbye to his family. He decides that they can come visit him, but D.B. won't be allowed to write any phony movies in his cabin. Nothing phony would ever happen in Holden's cabin.

Taking Phoebe to the Zoo

When Phoebe arrives, she has a suitcase with her and announces that she is going with Holden. When he refuses, she gets mad and won't speak to him.

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