Catcher In The Rye The Catcher in the Rye is narrated by Holden Caulfield, a sixteen year-old boy recuperating in a rest home from a nervous breakdown, some time in 1950. Holden tells the story of his last day at a school called Pencey Prep, and of his subsequent psychological meltdown in New York City. Holden has been expelled from Pencey for academic failure, and after an unpleasant evening with his self-satisfied roommate Stradlater and their pimply next-door neighbor Ackley, he decides to leave Pencey for good and spend a few days alone in New York City before returning to his parents’ Manhattan apartment. In New York, he succumbs to increasing feelings of loneliness and desperation brought on by the hypocrisy and ugliness of the adult world; he feels increasingly tormented by the memory of his younger brother Allie’s death, and his life is complicated by his burgeoning sexuality. He wants to see his sister Phoebe and his old girlfriend Jane Gallagher, but instead he spends his time with Sally Hayes, a shallow socialite Holden’s age, and Carl Luce, a pretentious Columbia student Holden treats as a source of sexual knowledge Increasingly lonely, Holden finally decides to sneak back to his parents’ apartment to talk to Phoebe.
He borrows some money from her, then goes to stay with his former English teacher, Mr. Antolini. When he believes Mr. Antolini to be making a homosexual advance toward him, Holden leaves his apartment, and spends the rest of the night on a bench in Grand Central Station. The next day Holden experiences the worst phase of his nervous breakdown. He wanders the streets, looking at children and talking to Allie.
He tries to leave New York forever and hitchhike west, but when Phoebe insists on going with him he relents, agreeing to go back home to protect his sister from the ugliness of the world. He takes her to the park, and watches her ride on the merry-go-round; he suddenly feels overwhelmed by an inexplicable, intense happiness. Holden concludes his story by refusing to talk about what happened after that, but he fills in the most important details: he went home, was sent to the rest home, and will attend a new school next year. He regrets telling his story to so many people; talking about it, he says, makes him miss everyone.