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What happens when Holden has a date with Sally in Chapter-17 of Catcher in the Rye?...

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mohammadruman... | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 10, 2009 at 6:36 PM via web

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What happens when Holden has a date with Sally in Chapter-17 of Catcher in the Rye?  Does Sally feel close to Holden?

Holden likes Jane but he doesn't like Sally, but he had a date with Sally. Maybe because Sally said that she won't be going to Vermont when Holden asked her.

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 12, 2009 at 5:53 AM (Answer #1)

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Holden's date with Sally is pretty much a disaster.  She arrives at the hotel ten minutes late, and acts as if she is delighted to see Holden, but in reality she is very fake.  On the way to the show Holden is taking her to see, the two "(horse) around a little bit in the cab", even though at first Sally does not want to because she will mess up her makeup.  As they "(come) out of this big clinch", Holden tells Sally he loves her, and she says she loves him too.  Neither one of them mean it.

At the first intermission of the play, Sally meets a guy she knows, and the two spend the whole time talking.  After the show, Holden is afraid the guy is going to accompany them back in the cab, but as it turns out, he has to go to a party.  When he leaves, Sally suggests to Holden that they go ice skating, which they do, but neither of them is very good at the sport.  Holden finally suggests that they go inside and have a drink, which they also do.  Sally by this time is cross because her ankles hurt from skating, and Holden makes things worse by starting to talk about how depressed he is.  He asks Sally if she would like to "get away" with him, and maybe even get married", but Sally responds with anger and frustration, telling him that they have "oodles of time to do those things".  The conversation ends in an argument, and Holden tells Sally she is "a royal pain in the ass"; she starts crying and won't accept his apology, so he leaves alone.

Sally is too self-absorbed to feel close to Holden.  She is a classic "phony", and does not recognize that he really is in a bad way.  In contrast, Jane, for whom Holden has real respect, is wholesome and more sensitive.  Sally is the kind of girl who really is just out to have fun; she cares little for other people in general.  She is shallow, which is an attribute Holden hates, while Jane is the real deal.  Jane is unattainable, however, while Sally is available to have a good time with (Chapter 17).

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