is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules.": Mr.
Spencer in chapter 2. This quote is ironic since Holden never believes that life is a
game. In fact, he believes the opposite he is deathly serious about life, and he
doesnt accept the rules set before him by phony adults.
2) "Ask her if she still keeps all her kings in
the back row.": Holden in chapter 4. This quote demonstrates Holdens
child-like nature. Though hes a seventeen-year-old in high school he is still
captivated by early memories.
3) "For Chrissake, Holden. This is
about a goddam baseball glove.": Stradlater in chapter 6. Here, Stradlater
rejects more than Holdens paper, but he also unknowingly rejects Allie. This hurts
Holden deeply, contributing to his self-frustration and alienation from society.
4) "Almost every time somebody
gives me a present, it ends up making me sad." This shows not only Holdens
personal frustration but also his overwhelming inferiority complex. He feels guilty when
anyone offers something of value to him without his payment.
5) "My brother D.B.s a
writer and all, and my brother Allie, the one that died, that I told you about, was a
wizard. Im the only really dumb one.": Holden in chapter 10. Again this
shows his lack of self confidence and feeling that hes a failure to his family.
6) "Then she really started to
cry, and the next thing I knew, I was kissing her all over...": Holden in chapter
11. Here Salinger suggests that Holden has no control over his body; it seems to move
itself. This also suggests that Holden has no control over his world. Although he wants to
protect the child-like innocence that hes already lost, he finds it almost
impossible in such a large and unfriendly world.
7) "Im always saying
Glad tove met you to someone Im not at all glad I met. If you want
to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though.": Holden in chapter 12. Here
Holden underscores his entire philosophy of life. He attempts not to keep himself alive,
but to keep alive the innocence of those around him. He wants them to think he really is
glad to meet them in order to preserve their innocence.
8) "I felt like jumping out the
window. I probably wouldve, too, if Id been sure somebodyd cover me up
as soon as I landed. I didnt want a bunch of stupid rubbernecks looking at me when I
was all gory.": Holden in chapter 14. Like the previous quote, Holden is striving
to preserve the innocence of those around him. He doesnt want anyone to have to see
his bloody body after his suicide.
9) "What I have to do, I have to
catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff I mean if theyre running
and they dont look where theyre going I have to come out from somewhere and
catch them. Thats all Id do all day. Id just be the catcher in the rye
and all.": Holden in chapter 22. Here Holden tells Phoebe the basic theme of the
novel. Holden sees himself as a martyr and protector of innocent children. He wants to
keep them from falling over the cliff into adulthood.
10) "Dont ever tell anybody
anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.": Holden in chapter 26. This
proves that Holden has really learned nothing from his long narration to the reader. He is
still unable to differentiate between good and evil people and like a true catcher in the
rye, tries to absorb everything and everyone into his base of experience.