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Free Study Guide-The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger-Free BookNotes
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Chapter 26

Summary

Holden is speaking to the analyst in the rest home, saying that he cannot say much more because it is irrelevant. He predicts he will be discharged soon, and he will be attending a different school next September. Holden somewhat regrets having discussed his private experiences with so many people, because in a way he misses the people he has spoken of. Hence, he ends with a dictum "Donít ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody".


Notes

Holdenís flashback sequence is brought to a close, and this chapter returns to the present with Holden in the rest home. He says he has been psychoanalyzed and has "rested". He still feels, however, that he does not understand himself, does not quite know what the truth is. He also still feels lonely and alienated and seeks love and acceptance. The reader is left to wonder if Holden Caulfield ever finds happiness.

In terms of the narrative, this chapter completes the frame that was begun in chapter one. The novel has come full cycle, and the plot is completed; the reader is left with the impression that a "whole" story has been told. This final chapter is an anticlimax, because the real action of the novel ended the chapter before. But a sense of closure and completeness is given here, even though Salinger does not answer all the questions about his protagonist, Holden Caulfield.

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