CliffsNotes The Catcher in the Rye

By Stanley P. Baldwin | Go to book overview

Chapters 6 and 7

Summary

The events of the rest of the evening are a little blurred in Holden’s memory. Stradlater returns around 11:00 or so and reads the theme paper Holden has written, while unbuttoning his shirt and stroking his chest. Stradlater is in love with himself. Of course, he doesn’t understand Holden’s choice of a baseball glove for a descriptive essay and condemns it. Holden grabs the paper and tears it up.

Holden becomes increasingly agitated about Stradlater’s date with Jane. Although he can’t know exactly what happened, his roommate’s glib comments enrage him. Stradlater taunts him, and Holden misses with a wild punch. Stradlater holds him down but lets him up. Holden calls Stradlater a moron and gets a bloody nose for his trouble. Stradlater leaves. Holden decides to spend the night in Ackley’s room, can’t sleep, thinks of visiting Mal Brossard but changes his mind, and decides to “get the hell out of Pencey,” instead of waiting until Wednesday to leave. He plans to rent an inexpensive hotel room in New York City and stay there until Wednesday, when he can go home.


Commentary

Stradlater is a superficial kid who has no hope of understanding Holden’s theme or the significance of a baseball glove covered with poems. Nor could he possibly value a girl who keeps her kings in the back row, when she plays checkers, because they look nice back there. Holden has been on a double date with Ward and knows what a womanizer his roommate is. He becomes increasingly upset when he learns that Stradlater made Jane late for her curfew and spent the evening, with her, parked in the basketball coach’s car. When Holden asks what happened, Stradlater is arrogant and taunting. Holden tries to fight his larger, stronger roommate, but, of course, he has no chance.

-35-

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CliffsNotes The Catcher in the Rye
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • CliffsNotes™ The Catcher in the Rye i
  • Table of Contents iii
  • How to Use This Book vi
  • Life and Background of the Author 1
  • Introduction to the Novel 7
  • Criticalcommentaries 21
  • Chapter 1 22
  • Chapter 2 25
  • Chapter 3 28
  • Chapter 4 31
  • Chapter 5 33
  • Chapters 6 and 7 35
  • Chapters 8 and 9 37
  • Chapter 10 41
  • Chapter 11 43
  • Chapter 12 45
  • Chapter 13 47
  • Chapter 14 49
  • Chapter 15 51
  • Chapter 16 53
  • Chapter 17 56
  • Chapters 18 and 19 59
  • Chapter 20 61
  • Chapter 21 63
  • Chapter 22 65
  • Chapter 23 68
  • Chapter 24 70
  • Chapters 25 and 26 73
  • Character Analyses 77
  • Critical Essays 85
  • CliffsNotes Review 93
  • CliffsNotes Resource Center 96
  • Index 99
  • Notes 103
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