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CATCHER IN THE RYE JD Salinger Catcher in the Rye Boston 1951 Holden Caulfield is the sixteen year-old narrator whose experiences form the action of the novel He seems to have a history of expulsion and failure because of his inability to adjust to institutional life and the world in general His recent expulsion from Pencey Prep and a series of other traumatic experiences lead him to an inevitable emotional breakdown The Catcher in the Rye is a loosely strung set of incidents that are combined to reveal four days in the life of Holden Caulfield The novel is periodic in nature and the bulk of it is narrated in the form of flashbacks The plot is also supplement with a number of digressions which help to reveal more about the various characters especially Holden Holdens journey begins on a Saturday in December just before school closes for Christmas break He has been informed of his expulsion from Pencey Prep School What worries him most about being kicked out of school is his parents reaction for he has already been expelled from other educational institutions He cannot bear to remain in the dormitory after he has been beaten up by his roommate Stradlater and on impulse he decides to leave the same night However he does not want to face his parents until they have recovered from the news of the expulsion He decides to stay in a cheap hotel in New York City going home only on the day he was originally expected The novel charts Holdens experiences over a period of about forty hours starting from the time he leaves Pencey Prep Holden encounters a large number of people as he navigates New York and goes into nightclubs Lonely and desperate he accepts the offer of the hotel elevator operator to find him a prostitute but he fails to have sex with her and fights with her pimp The next day
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