The Catcher in the Rye is J.D. Salinger’s 1951 novel of post-war alienation told by angst-ridden teen Holden Caulfield. Controversial at the time of publication for its frank language, it was an instant best-seller, and remains beloved by both teens and adults. Read a character analysis of Holden, plot summary, and important quotes.
Read our full plot summary and analysis of The Catcher in the Rye, chapter by chapter break-downs, and more.
See a complete list of the characters in The Catcher in the Rye and in-depth analyses of Holden Caulfield, Phoebe Caulfield, Mr. Antolini, Mr. Spencer, Stradlater, and Carl Luce.
Here's where you'll find analysis of the literary devices in The Catcher in the Rye, from the major themes to motifs, symbols, and more.
Questions & Answers
Explore our selection of frequently asked questions about The Catcher in the Rye and find the answers you need.
- What is a catcher in the rye and why does Holden want to be one?
- Does Mr. Antolini really make a pass at Holden?
- Why does Holden run away from Pencey?
- Does Holden have sex with Sunny, the prostitute?
- What happens to Holden after his date with Sally Hayes and his meeting with Carl Luce both end badly?
- What is the setting for The Catcher in the Rye?
- Does Holden have a mental illness?
- Why does Holden wear the red hunting hat?
- How does Holden feel about Jane?
- What is Holden’s relationship with Phoebe like?
- How does Allie’s death affect Holden?
- Why does Holden hate “phonies”?
- Why is Holden obsessed with the ducks at the Central Park Lagoon?
- Where is Holden as he narrates the story?
- Does Holden kill himself?
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