The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Summary of Chunk 5 (Chapters 12 - 14)

Holden takes a cab to Eddie's, and again brings up the topic of the ducks in winter to the cab driver. The driver's responses provide comic relief. At the nightclub, Holden finds himself highly critical of everyone around him, from Ernie with his gaudy piano playing and ostensible bow to the other guests. His thoughts, however, are interrupted by an old fling of his brother's, Lillian Simmons, who offers Holden a place at her table. Holden, however, refuses, and leaves the bar so he won't have to put up with her phoniness.

Back at the hotel, Holden meets an elevator worker, Maurice, who offers to send a prostitute, Sunny, to his room. Holden agrees. When she comes up, he realizes that she's about his own age, and thinking about that depresses him even more. In the end, he tells her he just wants to talk to her, and that he'll pay her. When she leaves, she asks for more money than was originally agreed upon, and Holden refuses to pay.

Hours later, Maurice and Sunny reenter Holden's room and take some money from him by force. Holden attempts to stand up to them, but ends up bawling on the floor, as with Stradlater earlier. He does, however, manage to throw a few telling insults at Maurice before getting socked in the midsection and stomach.

Contents