The profusion of lines and paragraphs still stick in the brain. Who said it, and what did it mean?

When we’re talking about the infamous Holden (from J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye), the angst-ridden lines offer important insights into what the 16-year-old runaway is thinking, feeling, and knowing. And, the words may even offer insight into the human experience, in general…

Chapter 1

  • “What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of a good-by. I mean I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don’t care if it’s a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it. If you don’t, you feel even worse.”
  • “I don’t even know what I was running for – I guess I just felt like it.”
  • “It was that kind of a crazy afternoon, terrifically cold, and no sun out or anything, and you felt like you were disappearing every time you crossed a road.”

Chapter 2

  • “People always think something’s all true.”
  • “People never notice anything.”

Chapter 3

  • “I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It’s awful. If I’m on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I’m going, I’m liable to say I’m going to the opera. It’s terrible.”

Chapter 6

  • “When I really worry about something, I don’t just fool around. I even have to go to the bathroom when I worry about something. Only, I don’t go. I’m too worried to go. I don’t want to interrupt my worrying to go.”
  • “All morons hate it when you call them a moron.”

Chapter 9

  • “In my mind, I’m probably the biggest sex maniac you ever saw.”
  • “It’s really too bad that so much crumby stuff is a lot of fun sometimes.”

Chapter 13

  • “There isn’t any night club in the world you can sit in for a long time unless you can at least buy some liquor and get drunk. Or unless you’re with some girl that really knocks you out.”

Chapter 15

  • “Goddam money. It always ends up making you blue as hell.”

What is your favorite line from The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger? Or, is it more the impression that you got that makes you love (or hate) the novel?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this controversial novel–so filled with angst, alienation and despair…

Then, why not test your knowledge of The Catcher in the Rye, with this quick quiz:

[slickquiz id=1]


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