In chapter 9 of "The Catcher in the Rye", why does Holden think that he might die? Where is Holden going at the end of chapter 9? Why?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 9, Holden arrives in New York and is determined to not run into his parents. He feels that if they discover that he is in New York, early, before Christmas vacation has started, they would kill him.  Not literally, but he equates the level of trouble that he would get into if discovered, with the saying, Oh my parents are gonna kill me.

He can't go home, he is all alone in New York City, feeling isolated and disconnected from everyone.  He can't call his brother, he can't call his little sister, so he is more depressed when he arrives. 

He knows that in order to not be seen by them or any of their friends, that he can't check into any nice hotels on the East Side.

So he checks into the Edmont, a downtown, modest hotel where undesirables work and hang around.  Holden says that "the hotel was full of perverts morons." (Salinger)  From his room he can see into another hotel room, and there are strange things going on in the other room, this makes him uncomfortable. 

He watches other people interact, but he will not call anyone familiar, he won't reach out for any comfort to deal with getting kicked out of Pencey.

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The Catcher in the Rye

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