The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are the things Holden likes and dislikes in The Catcher in the Rye?  Please show the quote and the number of the chapter if possible. Thanks.

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write9,721 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In chapter 22, when Holden sneaks into his sister Phoebe's bedroom in their Manhattan apartment after fleeing Pencey, she accuses him of not liking anything. He denies it, and she challenges him to come up with something he likes. The dialogue goes as follows:

"You don't like anything that's happening."

It made me even more depressed when she said that.

"Yes I do. Yes I do. Sure I do. Don't say that. Why the hell do you say that?"

"Because you don't. You don't like any schools. You don't like a million things. You don't."

"I do! That's where you're wrong—that's exactly where you're wrong! Why the hell do you have to say that?" I said. Boy, was she depressing me.

"Because you don't," she said. "Name one thing."

Holden thinks and thinks, telling the reader he has trouble concentrating, but when Phoebe presses him, he can only come up with liking Allie and liking where he is here and now, sitting with Phoebe. She dismisses both as not counting: Allie is dead, and being with her, she exclaims, "Isn't anything really!" She then asks him what he would like to be, and he tells her he would like to be the catcher in the rye, saving innocent children from running off the edge of a cliff. The passage goes as follows:

Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around—nobody big, I mean—except me. 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 from 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.

In a...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 643 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

teachertaylor eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write1,505 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial