CliffsNotes The Catcher in the Rye

By Stanley P. Baldwin | Go to book overview

Chapter 14

Summary

It is dawn on Sunday by the time that Sunny exits. Holden smokes a couple of cigarettes and reflects on his relationship with his deceased brother, Allie, as well as his feelings about religion. He is summoned by a knock on the door. Sunny has returned with Maurice and demands the rest of the ten dollars. Holden resists and is roughed up by the pimp.


Commentary

Although Allie does not appear as a character in the novel, he is a significant presence. When Holden gets very depressed, he sometimes talks “sort of out loud” to his younger brother. He does so after Sunny leaves. His communication with Allie is almost religious, a confession of Holden’s boyhood lack of consideration for the kid. In the hotel room, Holden repeatedly tells Allie, out loud, to get his bike and join him at the home of a childhood friend, Bobby Fallon. Holden once refused to take Allie with him when he and Bobby were going shooting with BB guns, and the guilt he feels about this incident prompts him to repeat those words, almost in an attempt to take back that day and do it differently.

In bed, Holden has greater difficulty with conventional prayer. He wants to speak with Jesus but can’t. He “likes” Jesus but finds the Disciples annoying and considers himself an atheist. He is bothered that the Disciples repeatedly let Jesus down, indicating the importance of friendship and loyalty to Holden.

It is telling that, other than Jesus, Holden’s favorite character in the Bible is “that lunatic and all, that lived in the tombs and kept cutting himself with stones.” He refers to Mark 5: 1–20, in which Jesus meets the troubled soul whose “name is Legion: for we are many.” Holden himself is a troubled soul and, like the man from the tombs, resists being tamed. Recall that he tells us his story from a mental health clinic or sanitarium in California. It is little wonder that Holden identifies with the madman. Holden, too, is one of the legion, one of the many.

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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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