"The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, Chapters 1-5

March 12, 2013
In J.D. Salinger's classic novel, Holden Caulfield leaves his prep school and experiences disillusionment and alienation while wandering around New York City.

Here are links to our other lists for the novel: Chapters 1-5, Chapters 6-11, Chapters 12-16, Chapters 17-21, and Chapters 22-26.

Here are links to our lists for Salinger’s short stories: "A Perfect Day for Bananafish",
"Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut", "Just Before the War with the Eskimos", "The Laughing Man", "Down at the Dinghy", "For Esmé–with Love and Squalor", "Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes", "De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period", "Teddy"
In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them.
And underneath the guy on the horse's picture, it always says: "Since 1888 we have been molding boys into splendid, clear-thinking young men."
It was the last game of the year, and you were supposed to commit suicide or something if old Pencey didn't win.
You couldn't see the grandstand too hot, but you could hear them all yelling, deep and terrific on the Pencey side, because practically the whole school except me was there, and scrawny and faggy on the Saxon Hall side, because the visiting team hardly ever brought many people with them.
She probably knew what a phony slob he was.
The whole team ostracized me the whole way back on the train.
It has a very good academic rating, Pencey.
I mean he was all stooped over, and he had very terrible posture, and in class, whenever he dropped a piece of chalk at the blackboard, some guy in the first row always had to get up and pick it up and hand it to him.
He started chuckling like a madman.
"Well. . . they'll be pretty irritated about it," I said.
Then he said, "I had the privilege of meeting your mother and dad when they had their little chat with Dr. Thurmer some weeks ago.
"You glanced through it, eh?" he said--very sarcastic.
It was a very dirty trick, but I went over and brought it over to him--I didn't have any alternative or anything.
The Egyptians were an ancient race of Caucasians residing in one of the northern sections of Africa.
The latter as we all know is the largest continent in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Modern science would still like to know what the secret ingredients were that the Egyptians used when they wrapped up dead people so that their faces would not rot for innumerable centuries.
I live in New York, and I was thinking about the lagoon in Central Park, down near Central Park South.
"Do you have any particular qualms about leaving Pencey?"
So when I told old Spencer I had to go to the gym and get my equipment and stuff, that was a sheer lie.
He made a pot of dough in the undertaking business after he got out of Pencey.
He was telling us all about what a swell guy he was, what a hot-shot and all, then all of a sudden this guy sitting in the row in front of me, Edgar Marsalla, laid this terrific fart.
It was a very crude thing to do, in chapel and all, but it was also quite amusing.
Hardly anybody laughed out loud, and old Ossenburger made out like he didn't even hear it, but old Thurmer, the headmaster, was sitting right next to him on the rostrum and all, and you could tell he heard it.
He didn't say anything then, but the next night he made us have compulsory study hall in the academic building and he came up and made a speech.
I'm quite illiterate, but I read a lot.
He was a very peculiar guy.
"I think I'm going blind," I said in this very hoarse voice.
I started groping around in front of me, like a blind guy, but without getting up or anything.
I was pretty sadistic with him quite often.
He started laughing in this very high falsetto voice.
He's a conceited sonuvabitch."
Boy, he could really be aggravating sometimes.
He had these very broad shoulders.
He always walked around in his bare torso because he thought he had a damn good build.
He was only flattering me, though, because right away he said, "Listen.
" Liberate yourself from my viselike grip."
You couldn't rile him too easily.
Old Brossard was a bridge fiend, and he started looking around the dorm for a game.
He started talking in this very monotonous voice, and picking at all his pimples.
Sinus trouble, pimples, lousy teeth, halitosis, crumby fingernails.

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