The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Summary of Chunk 10 (Chapters 25 - 26)

Holden flees Mr. Antolini's for the subway station, where he goes to sleep. The next morning, depressed and with a headache, he begins to walk aimlessly, killing time to when he can return home. However, every time he crosses a street, Holden notes that "I had the feeling I'd never get to the other side of the street. I thought I'd just go down, down, down, and nobody'd ever see me again."

Perhaps prompted by his feelings of sickness, he decides spontaneously to head out West and to live alone in a cabin by the woods. Before he does this, though, he goes to Phoebe's school to say by to her. At the school, he notices the words "Fuck You" written everywhere, and becomes disillusioned. He leaves a note for her to find him at the museum on her lunch break, and goes there to wait. At the museum, he again finds his peace shattered by a "fuck you" on the wall.

When Phoebe finally shows up, she is carrying a large suitcase and explains to Holden that she wants to go West with him. Alarmed, Holden answers her with a curt "No. Shut up." Phoebe bursts into tears and vows never to go back to school again, and Holden quickly protests that he's changed his mind-he'll stay at home (and he really has decided to). Though sore at him, Phoebe agrees to go to the zoo with him.

The final scene before the epilogue takes place at a carousel in the zoo, where Phoebe tells Holden that "I'm not mad at you anymore." Holden offers to buy Phoebe a ride on the carousel and she agrees. As she spins around and around, grabbing for the gold ring, it begins to rain. As he watches her, Holden becomes cheered and begins to cry.

In the epilogue (chapter 26), Holden details his optimism for the future: he thinks he will apply himself at the next school he attends. He concludes by noting that he misses all those people that he has just finished writing about.

Contents