Illustration of a man smoking a cigarette

The Catcher in the Rye

by J. D. Salinger

Start Free Trial

What evidence suggests Holden could have been a good actor?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Chapter 14, Holden has a run in with Maurice, the elevator operator/pimp who barges into his room demanding the extra money that he claims that is still owed for Sunny, the prostitute's, services. Holden resists handing over any extra money proclaiming that he has paid Sunny.

So, Maurice get rough with him and beats him up. He goes into the bathroom after he is punched by Maurice and has trouble breathing, he is scared.

"I thought I was drowning or something.  The trouble was, I could hardly breathe." (Salinger)

But when he gets into the bathroom, he doesn't tend to his wounds, he plunges into a fantasy, or imaginary experience pretending that he was shot.

"I sort of started pretending I had a bullet in my guts.  Old Maurice had plugged me.  Now I was on the way to the bathroom to get a good shot bourbon or something to steady my nerves and help me really go into action.  I pictured myself coming out of the goddam bathroom, dressed and all with my automatic in my pocket and staggering around a little bit." (Salinger)

Holden goes through a whole scenario about being a gangster confronting the wiseguy who shot him.  He imagines that he confronts Maurice and fills him with lead, six shots to the gut.  It is in this part of the chapter that Holden proves that he enjoys acting just as much as anyone else, in fact he would make a good actor.

"The god-dam movies.  They can ruin you.  I'm not kidding." (Salinger)

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial