Chapter 15 Notes from The Catcher in the Rye

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The Catcher in the Rye Chapter 15

Holden wakes up hungry and lonely, and decides to give Sally Hayes a call. Sally's no Jane, and he's immediately annoyed when she uses the phony word "grand," and begins telling him about all the boys who are desperately hoping to take her on a date. But Sally's a girl and she's good-looking, so Holden sets up a date. They'll meet downtown that afternoon and catch a show.

Topic Tracking: Phonies 7

Holden's got some time to kill, so he stows his bags in a locker at the train station and heads off for some breakfast. Holden says he's skinny because he's not fond of eating much besides an occasional Swiss cheese sandwich and a malted milk. Today, however, he orders a big greasy breakfast at a sandwich bar. While he's eating, two nuns come in and approach the counter. When they set down their cheap suitcases, Holden is off into a new fit of worries. He says even something as minor as the sight of cheap suitcases can make him dislike a person, and he tells the story of one of his old roommates who fell into this category.

Despite their suitcases, Holden likes these nuns. They're schoolteachers, and Holden spends some time talking with one who teaches English about literature, especially Romeo and Juliet. Holden's analysis of the play is consistent with his habit of siding with the little guy and despising the expected reaction. His favorite character, he says, is Mercutio, and he pretty much hates Romeo.

Before the nuns leave, Holden gives them ten dollars in the name of charity. He's glad to have escaped without being hit with a bunch of preaching and sermonizing.

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