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Literature / The Catcher in the Rye

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A rare illustrated cover, from the first UK edition.

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.

The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novelnote  by the late, reclusive author J. D. Salinger.

The story concerns Holden Caulfield, a smart but troubled teenager who, after being expelled from his boarding school in December 1949, spends three days wandering around New York City, mourning for the loss of innocence in children, and failing to understand the people that surround him. Holden himself can come off as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold as he unkindly judges almost everyone, but as the book explores his underlying psychological issues and reaches its Bittersweet Ending, his true nature becomes apparent.

The book is regularly found in critical lists of the greatest English-language works of fiction and the best novels of all time, and is practically the textbook for First-Person Narration. However, it is also a frequent target of Moral Guardians for its (allegedly) offensive language and nihilistic attitude, not to mention the fact that it was caught in the possession of a few notorious murderers (making it a sort of prototype of the post-Columbine scares about violent video games). It is also the most popular novel never to have been adapted into a movie.

The Catcher in the Rye contains examples of:

  • The '40s: Despite being published in the early fifties, it's obvious the novel is set in this decade. TV is never mentioned, newsreels are still a thing, and everyone knows who Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne are. More specifically, the Lunt-Fontanne play that Holden and Sally go to see (I Know My Love) places the story in December of 1949. However, it's worthy to note many reviewers and cultural commentators consider the novel's subjects as more emblematic of fifties, due to its portrayal of a teenager rebelling against hypocrisy, social conventions, and hidden cruelty.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Stradlater calls his date, who happens to be a childhood friend of Holden's, Jean Gallagher instead of Jane. Holden chews him out for it.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The scene where Mr Antolini strokes Holden's sleeping head. It could be a sexual pass, as Holden thinks, or simply an awkward attempt at paternal affection. Holden himself is not sure of which, although he recollects several similar instances in his life that point to the former (which brings its own ambiguity), leading him to flee just in case.
  • Author Avatar: Holden. J.D. Salinger stated that he would have allowed a stage adaptation of the work on the condition that he be allowed to play Holden, despite being significantly older than Holden by the time this was a possibility. Although this may have been simply because Salinger didn't want a stage play made at all, as he implied he would allow a film adaptation to happen only upon his death, partly to provide for his children, and partly so he wouldn't have to see it. In his later novella "Seymour: An Introduction", narrator Buddy Glass implies authorship of Catcher and emphatically denies Holden is based on Buddy's elder brother Seymour. Both Seymour and Buddy have been suggested as the more likely Author Avatar of Salinger himself.
  • Author Usurpation: Ask a bunch of people to name some J.D. Salinger books; you'll be hard pressed to find one who doesn't start the list with this one. Even finding one that can remember any others may take some work.
  • Berserk Button: Holden seeing anyone engaging in "phony" behavior- mainly blatant hypocrisy- he complains about them at length in the narration.
  • Big Applesauce: The book mainly takes place in 1940s Manhattan.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Holden is a pessimistic boy but he cares for his little sister a lot and feels the need to protect her.
  • Big Man on Campus: Stradlater, who straddles the line between Jerk Jock and Lovable Jock. Although he beats up Holden (in fact, while straddling him), he only does so after Holden already attacked him, and while he does seem to be a cocky flirt, he also seems to be a pretty good guy who genuinely likes spending time with Holden. On the other hand, he's implied to be highly promiscuous, having casual sex with women whose names he can't even bother to remember... sometimes pressuring them into doing things they don't want to do, leaving him somewhere two steps shy of date-rape. Holden, in fact, only attacks him after remembering how he treats his dates, realizing his date that night is someone Holden cares for.
  • Bile Fascination: A movie Holden goes to see is an in-universe example.
    "It was so putrid I couldn't take my eyes off it."
  • Bittersweet Ending: After so much self-destruction, Holden finally ends his runaway stunt and returns home thanks to Phoebe. His parents were probably mad at him, but in the epilogue he mentions he is going to go to another school to recover his year, and his last lines sound perhaps less angsty, if still characteristically snarky.
  • Black Sheep: Holden remarks that he's the only stupid one among his siblings.
  • Book Ends: The first chapter reveals Holden's pathetic essay on the Ancient Egyptians. The last chapter shows him teaching two little boys at a museum about the same subject.
  • Bookworm: Two of the very few intellectual things Holden unambiguously enjoys are reading and writing, even if he does claim to be illiterate.
  • Byronic Hero: Holden—kind of, for the 1950s. He's angry, brooding and confused.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Holden's favorite insult, "phony".
    • The word "goddamn" which he uses 237 times in only 214 pages.
    • He also often says, "That killed me". Depending on the context, this phrase could mean whatever "killed him" is annoying, funny, or a mix of the two.
  • Children Are Innocent: Holden believes this and hates the idea of anyone corrupting them.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Holden, even by his own admission. He at one point breaks out into a tap dance while talking to Stradlater in the bathroom for no apparent reason, leaving Stradlater understandably confused.
  • Coming of Age Story: Though the non-standard narrative can make it hard to tell.
  • Consummate Liar: Holden often makes up stories with people he meets. Often, it will be his age.
  • Cool Teacher: Subverted by Mr. Antolini, who comes off as this right up until he starts blatantly hitting on Holden.
  • Cultural Rebel: Holden, who despises most of the popular culture of his day (that is, The '40s), such as Hollywood films, radio programs, and short stories in magazines.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Holden has a habit of repeating what he just said using a different order of words frequently. That is, frequently, Holden will repeat himself but put the words in a different order. He really does.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: A group of children are playing on "some crazy cliff", and Holden's task is to catch them before they fall off the edge. Imagining this, he wishes it could be his purpose. Never mind the entire mental construct is based on a mondegreen. Most Salinger characters are hothouse flowers; to survive, they need a rare element... one which the world could never provide.
  • Driven to Suicide: Holden mentions James Castle, a boy he knew at school committed suicide because of bullying or something worse. Castle called another boy, Phil Stabile, a "very conceited guy", so Stabile and six of his friends tried to force him to take it back.
    I won't even tell you what they did to him—it's too repulsive—but he still wouldn't take it back, old James Castle. And you should've seen him. He was a skinny little weak-looking guy, with wrists about as big as pencils. Finally, what he did, instead of taking back what he said, he jumped out the window.
  • The Eeyore: Phoebe challenges Holden to name one thing that he genuinely likes. Holden claims he can't concentrate enough to answer her question. Interestingly, it's demonstrably untrue that Holden doesn't like anything, for he is an avid writer, reader and cinephile, and on top of it has an active love life; it's just that he lacks the introspection to realize and appreciate it.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Phoebe's middle name is Josephine, which she doesn't like for some reason, so she's always making up new ones. When Holden visits her, he sees that she's using "Weatherfield" as a middle name, taken from a literary character she has created.
  • Emo Teen: Holden, who may even be the Trope Codifier.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: In an in-universe example, the movie Holden goes to see ends this way.
  • First Gray Hair: Played with. Seventeen-year-old Holden acknowledges having a great deal of grey hair, but does not seem concerned by it, except as a means to disguise his age in order to buy alcohol. Nevertheless, it is listed as being one of his 'adult-qualities,' which is significant considering the themes of the novel...
  • Freudian Excuse: He oh-so-subtly explains what his is, before deciding not to go into any detail on it as not to invoke it. Of course, by saying so he invokes it anyway, so it's not so much averted as glossed over.
  • Friend to All Children: A trait very consistently seen in Holden, who not only has his explicit "catcher in the rye" fantasy, but also acts kind to the boys he finds in the museum, and at a point he gets angry because someone wrote an obscene word in a children's school.
  • Gaydar: Carl Luce, who can easily identify gay men and knows the names of every gay man in the country. Holden himself seems eerily aware of nearby gays too.
  • The Ghost: Several. Jane, D.B., Holden's father (his mother is heard by the narrator even if not seen), and Allie seem to be the most significant, though.
  • Glurge: In-universe. Holden Caulfield has this reaction to a movie he watches and then describes for us readers. In the movie, a wealthy duke loses his memory and then meets a nice lady with a brother whose nerves are shot who helps him publish a book and becomes a love interest for him. When his old blind mother and fiancee find him, they try to confirm his own identity for him, but the duke doesn't believe them. By the end, the duke regains his memory, is happily married to the nice lady, the brother has gotten his nerves back and has cured the duke's mother of her blindness. To top it all off, a dog they previously thought was male had puppies!
  • Growing Up Sucks: Holden has this belief and this is part of his motivation for wanting to be a "catcher in the rye" so that he can protect children from awful phony stuff.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Holden frequently describes Stradlater as "sexy", and he remarks on his good looks more than once. In the 1940s, though, the term could still be taken to mean "obsessed with sex" (its original definition) rather than "sexually attractive". A more modern equivalent would be "horny".
  • Hidden Depths:
    • DB is implied to be a Shell-Shocked Veteran.
    • Holden looks to be a simple self-loathing misanthropist, but the more the story goes on, the more it becomes apparent that he's suffering from some kind of depression.
  • Holding Hands: Holden describes in detail how good it was to hold hands with Jane.
  • Homoerotic Subtext:
    • The infamous passage in which Mr. Antolini strokes the forehead of a sleeping Holden. Even Holden himself is disturbed, fleeing Mr. Antolini's house right afterwards. Antolini's inquiries about Holden's girlfriends and the fact that he calls Holden "handsome" as he wishes him goodnight could be read as flirtatious advances as well.
    • Carl Luce, who was said to be always grabbing guys' butts, and somehow seemed to know if anyone was gay. Note that, for a long time in America, spotting a gay man based on behavorial patterns (that is, by any way other than catching him having sex with a man) was seen as a surefire sign that you were gay. Gaydar was one of the main reasons so many people were expelled from Harvard in the 1920's, even if they were actually heterosexual or bisexual.
    • Interestingly, Holden himself fits the popular perception explained in Luce's case, as he similarly identifies several gay people in the bars he visits. Moreover, he refers to how attractive Stradlater is all the damn time, including calling him a "sexy bastard" at least twice (though, as noted on the main page, this is most likely the result of Have a Gay Old Time and/or Holden trying deliberately to annoy him). Holden would be actually bi, though, given that, unlike Luce, he is unambiguously attracted to girls too.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: Someone who hates movies as much as Holden claims to sure seems to watch a lot of them. How does one learn not to like something to experience it?
  • Hypocrite: Holden. He despises phonies, yet lies about who he is a lot.
  • Iconic Outfit: Holden's signature red hunting hat (pictured above). If you were to look up the hat online, you are bound to find at least one picture of Holden wearing it.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Although he is not out for friends in his travel, virtually everything Holden does in the novel stems from how desperately lonely he feels, both at psychological and spiritual levels.
  • Insanity Establishment Scene: Holden's Ambiguous Disorder becomes clear when he starts talking to his dead brother, Allie, while walking, even though he's been dead 2 years.
  • In-Universe Factoid Failure:
    • Holden writes a paper about ancient Egypt, which reads thus: "The Egyptians were an ancient race of Caucasians residing in one of the northern sections of Africa. The latter as we all know is the largest continent in the Eastern Hemisphere. The Egyptians are extremely interesting to us today for various reasons. Modern science would still like to know what the secret ingredients were that the Egyptians used when they wrapped up dead people so that their faces would not rot for innumerable centuries. This interesting riddle is still quite a challenge to modern science in the twentieth century". If it's not enough by this point, the quote also happens to be the "paper" in its entirety.
    • The title of the book comes from Holden mistaking a line from the song "Comin' Through the Rye". He thinks it's "If a body catch a body comin' through the rye", but it's really "If a body meet a body comin' through the rye".
  • Irony: A meta example—the novel has been banned/challenged many, many times over the years, with most objectors citing profanity and/or sexual content. The inherent irony of this (Holden thinks kids should be shielded from "FUCK YOU"'s and sexy stuff, after all) always seems to evade them.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Holden sports a nice shade of them.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Holden, for all his antisocial and occasionally douche tendencies, has solid redeeming qualities (he feels protective about kids, loves his sister dearly and is clearly an articulate, good-natured fellow, if only deeply troubled) and sometimes makes good points about what he sees (especially about people and situations that are objectively nasty). It's only too easy to get irritated by his constant negativity and occasional hypocrisy.
  • Lack of Empathy: Holden doesn't like how a woman watching the Duke movie cares more for its characters than her own child.
  • Lecherous Stepparent: There are some implications that Jane's alcoholic step-father is attracted to her.
  • Lemony Narrator: Holden's typical snarky style.
  • Loving a Shadow: Despite how much Holden wants to reconnect with Jane, he can't ever bring himself to call her; he's too afraid she won't be the same person anymore.
  • Madden Into Misanthropy: Holden abhors the so-called "phoniness" of the world, and thus isolates himself from the people around him so as to not confront the phoniness that he sees. The people that he's willing to interact with wholeheartedly are children.
  • Minimalist Cast: While several characters are mentioned, only a handful besides Holden himself actually appear, and when they do their screentime is limited.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: Many paperback editions of the book feature a cover with only the title and author's name on a blank field. The Italian version is white, while the English version is red.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Invoked. Holden does this with the song "Comin' Thru the Rye". It's actually about two lovers meeting in a field. Holden adopts it as an image of himself protecting children from their own inevitable maturity (especially sex) and phoniness (like, say, lying about where you're going and screwing some guy in a field instead). He mishears it, after all. Interestingly, the word ‘rye’ might actually refer to Rye Water in Scotland. The poem then discusses a girl named Jenny who lets her petticoat down and get wet instead of holding it up while crossing it, so she can push away the boys who would run by to kiss the girls who would hold their petticoats on one hand and whatever they were carrying on the other instead, leaving no free hand to ward off the boys. Holden decided to interpret the word ‘rye’ as actual rye, which is the more ‘adult’ version, but misinterprets the meaning of the poem as talking about kids playing in a rye field.
  • Moral Guardians: Technically, what Holden himself wants to be—that is, the Catcher In The Rye, a person who guards the innocence of children.
  • Morality Pet: Phoebe is the only named character who Holden is nice to, since she symbolizes the child-like innocence he wants to protect.
  • The Movie Buff: Phoebe loves movies as much as Holden claims to hate them, even although he is awfully knowledgeable for someone who supposedly hates movies.
  • Never My Fault: Holden certainly isn't one for blaming himself for his troubles.
  • New Media Are Evil: Holden hates movies and, throughout his life, Salinger blocked all attempts to make The Film of the Book. Which is ironic, as Salinger himself was a cinephile. The reason for that is because Salinger hated how the 1949 film My Foolish Heart (based on his short story "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut") came out. To date that film is the only authorized film adaptation of his work.
  • Newsreel: Holden sees one at a movie theater whilst holding hands with Jane.
  • Platonic Prostitution: Holden hires a prostitute when he's at a hotel, but changes his mind when she arrives (partially because she's almost his own age) and says that he just wants to talk. This doesn't work out; she becomes annoyed, demands more money than was originally agreed upon, and when Holden refuses to pay, she comes back with her pimp, who beats up Holden and takes the money.
  • Precision F-Strike: Despite a large amount of other profanities, there is only one appearance of an actual F-bomb in the last chapter, where Holden sees it in clearly visible graffiti and tries to cover it up, because he doesn't want kids to see it. A very good example of how the word can be appropriately shocking when used correctly. It's also worth noting that the F-word was considered to be a lot more vulgar back when the book was written.
  • Punch a Wall: Holden mentions that after his brother died, he smashed every window in the garage with his bare hands. He also tried to knock out the family station wagon windows, but by then, his hands were too broken.
  • Rape as Backstory: Perhaps not literally rape, but something definitely similar that isn't explored:
    "When something perverty like that happens, I start sweating like a bastard. That kind of stuff's happened to me about twenty times since I was a kid."
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: You can practically call this book "Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: The Novel". Holden (both in his Inner Monologue and in his spoken dialogue) and the majority of the other characters speak in either sloppy or imprecise language, frequently and unnecessarily repeating themselves while simultaneously losing track of the original subject, making keeping track of the narrative an awkward trial in of itself.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • Holden's little sister, who to him is the epitome of what he's trying to protect, is named Phoebe. This is an epithet of Artemis, who is occasionally associated with the moon; in its male form, "Phoebus", it is also an epithet her twin brother Apollo, who is associated with the sun. The prostitute Holden hires, who is one of the apexes of the things Holden ''hates',' is named Sunny. Artemis is also the goddess of maidenhood and innocence. On the other hand, Apollo, god of the sun, was known for having many affairs with women, like most Greek gods.
    • That's far from the only example; the novel contains symbolism in spades, as Salinger was a master of the technique (as shown in his expertly-crafted short stories, e.g., A Perfect Day For Bananafish). It's most apparent in the penultimate chapter; the scene with Phoebe on the carousel is a cornucopia of symbolism. The Gold Ring that Phoebe tries to catch is widely interpreted as a metaphor for adulthood, with Holden's comment that "it's bad if you say anything to them" when children fall off the horse while attempting to reach it, is seen as an indicator he's ready to accept the inevitability of growing up.
    • Similarly, there is the museum. Holden points out how the museum's displays are in an infinite frozen state: while he changes with time, the displays stay the same. This symbolizes Holden's wish of having the world be forever frozen in the same state in order for him to avoid conflict and growing up.
  • Sanity Slippage: Holden slowly begins to show more and more erratic behavior as the book goes on.
  • Security Blanket: His hunting cap can be seen as this, as he's constantly putting it on and taking it off only when he's in a situation where he knows he will be mocked for wearing it.
  • Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny: Holden doesn't really like the idea of casual sex without emotional attachment, but it is clear that he is still a hormonal teenage boy who checks out just about every female character that shows up and he even tries to hook up with a prostitute at one point. Likewise, when he sees a cross-dressing man and a drunk couple playfully spitting liquid on each other in another building, he mentions how gross it all is but can't help but watch and feel aroused anyway.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Implied with DB, who served in World War II and participated in D-Day.
  • Signature Headgear: Holden's iconic red hunting cap.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: Both Mr. Antolini and Phoebe try to get across to Holden that much of his unhappiness is self-inflicted, and just as narcissistic as all the "phonies" he rails against. Unfortunately for them Holden is too stubborn to acknowledge it.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Holden loves to swear. In this 214-page story, Holden uses the word "goddamn" 237 times.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Played with in a rather complex manner. Holden is a rebellious teenager with a cynical and jaded exterior, but at the same time, he's obsessed with the concept of childhood innocence and thinks innocence is a notion to be revered. This leads to strange instances where he'll fantasize about sex one minute and reminisce about playing golf with Allie the next. The ambiguity of the text itself, however, makes it difficult to make a judgement one way or another.
  • Sliding Scale of Plot Versus Characters: Way on the character side.
  • The Snark Knight: Holden. He loves snarking at anything and everything that he feels like is snark-worthy.
  • Soap Punishment: Holden tries asking Stradlater if he gave Jane Gallagher the time. That, by the way, is old slang for having sex with someone. Stradlater responds: "What a thing to say. Want me to wash your mouth out with soap?"
  • Such a Phony: The premise is practically built around a non-comedic example. One of the most prominent aspects of Holden's character is that he refers to everybody else as a "phony". Another of the most prominent aspects of Holden's character is that he lies to just about everyone and is proud of his lying skill.
  • Stylistic Suck: Very accurately done with Holden's one-paragraph essay on the ancient Egyptians. Possibly in-universe too; given that we see Holden is not exactly uncultured, it's easy to guess some of its silliness was him just having fun with an exam he knew he hadn't studied enough to pass.
    "The Egyptians were an ancient race of Caucasians residing in one of the northern sections of Africa. The latter as we all know is the largest continent in the Eastern Hemisphere. The Egyptians are extremely interesting to us today for various reasons. Modern science would still like to know what the secret ingredients were that the Egyptians used when they wrapped up dead people so that their faces would not rot for innumerable centuries. This interesting riddle is still quite a challenge to modern science in the twentieth century".
  • This Loser Is You: Holden is arguably this, being a self-loathing teenagers that hates everything and believes that only he is the Only Sane Man in a world full of phonies.
  • Title Drop: The page quote above.
  • Trade Your Passion for Glory: Holden's thinks his brother D.B. has done this by writing for Hollywood.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Quite arguably Holden, given that several female characters find him attractive, like Sunny, the prostitute, who calls him cute.
  • Tsundere: Holden is incredibly critical of nearly every single character in the book, but it is made clear that this is more of him being frustrated and self-conscious than anything else as he later admits to missing them.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Implied with Jane Gallagher, as she goes on a date with Stradlater in a car, most likely to have casual sex with him.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Holden, again. He's an admitted liar, so how much of his story is the truth remains up in the air. It's worth noticing that while his narration is hilarious, his spoken dialogue is an apex of The Comically Serious and morbidity; at the very least, it is clear the events he describes as funny weren't so much when he lived them.
  • Unusual Euphemism: When Stradlater has sex with a girl, Holden refers to it as "giving her the time." It was much dirtier in the time period this book is set in.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Holden has one. He really does.
    • Holden has also a rather annoying habit of calling people "Old" before their name (Old Phoebe, Old Stradlater, etc).
    • He also has a tendency to say "and all" at the end of his sentences.
    • "That killed me." Given the situation it's actually a little thought-provoking.
    • His frequent use of 'goddamn' and asserting that various people are 'phonies' verge on Catchphrase territory.
    • "I'm not kidding".
    • "If you want to know the truth...".
    • "Boy...".
    • "Lousy"
    • "Sort of" is said 109 times.
    • He tends to say something and begin the next sentence with "I mean", and then say the exact thing he said before without actually explaining what he means.
    • Carl Luce is noted as an In-Universe example by Holden, who points out this tendency to say "Certainly".
  • Vinyl Shatters: Holden accidentally shatters a record he was going to give to his sister Phoebe. Justified here - it was almost definitely a shellac 78,note  which are known to shatter.
  • Wham Line:
    • The first time Holden speaks at length about his brother Allie, he talks tenderly about how his little brother loved baseball and had a favorite catcher's mitt that he always used when playing. Then he finishes the paragraph with this almost Black Comedy Burst:
    "Anyway, he's dead now."
    • In case Holden's growing psychosis wasn't apparent already, then the reader would have definitely noticed it after he begins to show semi-delusional behavior towards Sally during one of their later dates:
    (After Holden's long rant) "Don't shout, please," old Sally said. Which was very funny, because I wasn't even shouting.
    "Stop screaming at me, please," [Sally] said. Which was crap, because I wasn't even screaming at her.
    (A few paragraphs later) "What?" she said. "I can't hear you. One minute you scream at me, and the next you-"
  • White-and-Grey Morality: It goes back and forth between this and Grey-and-Grey Morality.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Holden claims that his younger siblings, Allie and Phoebe, are pretty intelligent for their age. Phoebe definitely seems to be, as she's mentioned to even write her own detective novels, and it's ultimately her who brings her brother to reason.
  • Word Salad Title: In-context, it refers to Holden misremembering "If a Body Meets A Body Comin' Through the Rye" as "If a Body Catch a Body", giving him the mental picture of himself watching over children as they play in a huge rye field, and catching them before they get too close to a cliff's edge.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: In-universe. Phoebe writes about a girl detective named Hazle Weatherfield whose father is described as a "tall attractive gentleman about 20 years of age". This strikes as odd, considering she's 10 years old, well over the age in which most children master the most basic math, and very smart in general. Charitably speaking, it might be just a botched attempt to state that he looked youthful enough to pass as 20, or perhaps a weird way to tell the reader the gentleman was secretly not Hazle's real father.
  • Younger Than They Look: 17-year-old Holden Caulfield is 6'2" and has gray hairs. As such, or so he claims, he can easily pass as an adult. But he's more often called out on being a minor than he is successfully able to pass. Sunny, for example, not only wouldn't believe he was 22, but may have also compared him to 13-year-old Freddie Bartholomew from the 1937 movie ''Captains Courageous'.'