The Catcher in the Rye Review: A Summary
Holden Caufield writes his tale from a private home in California where he is being psychoanalyzed. His narrative begins on the Saturday before school lets out at Pencey Prep. Holden has been kicked out of Pencey for failing every class except English. He gets in a fight with his roommate and decides to go to New York for a few days before going home.
Holden has severe psychological problems: he's immature, isolated, longs for companionship, hates everybody, cries frequently, smokes a lot, and is having a mental breakdown. Despite his declaration of independence, he goes to great lengths to find companionship. While in New York, he meets three older women at a night club, hires a prostitute to talk to, gets beat up by a pimp, goes to a blues bar, goes on a date, meets an old friend, gets really drunk, breaks into his own house, stays at a former teacher's house, wakes up believing his teacher made a sexual advance, and goes to the zoo.
The cause of his troubles is his unwillingness to grow up and his desire to protect children from losing their innocence.
(Check out these chapter summaries of The Catcher in the Rye for a more detailed summary.)