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Free Study Guide-The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger-Free BookNotes
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Chapter 9

Summary

Arriving at Penn Station in New York, Holden considers calling someone. He mentally runs through a list of people, but after twenty minutes, he emerges from the phone booth having called no one. He walks to the taxi stand and hails one to take him to the Edmont Hotel, which is cheap and sleazy. For lack of anything better to do, Holden looks out the window of his room and notices the "perverts and morons" in the windows across from his; he spies cross-dressers and a couple having kinky sex. Bored with the view, Holden thinks about calling Jane Gallagher. Instead, he calls a woman named Faith Cavendish, whose telephone number he was given from some "guy that went to Princeton". Although not a prostitute, she supposedly "does not mind doing it once in a while". On the phone, Holden explains that he is feeling "pretty horny", but gets no response. Since the phone call proves unproductive, Holden remains alone and frustrated.


Notes

In New York, Holden feels a desperate urge for human connection. He goes into a phone booth and stays for twenty minutes, but can think of no one to call. In his loneliness, Holden even tries to strike up a conversation with the taxi driver, asking him whether he knows where the ducks from Central Park go when the water freezes. Once again, Holden is concerned about their safe escape, a concern that parallels his own unrealized need for a safe haven. At the hotel, which is sleazy and gloomy to match his mood, he looks out the window for human contact and spies only perverts. He finally calls Faith Cavendish, who is known as a loose woman, but even she rejects Holden. At the end of the chapter he feels more isolated and depressed than ever.

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