This novel is a first person narrative novel. The main character Holden Caulfield tells the novel. The first few chapters are about how the private school he attended ‘Gave him the axe. ‘; for not applying himself in his classes after several warnings. Holden was pretty upset about the whole deal because he knew that his parents would be disappointed with him for getting kicked out of another school. That same night Holden got onto a fight with his roommate, now very angry Holden leaves the school earlier than he is supposed to.
He catches a train to the city around eleven at night though can’t go home yet because his parents don’t know that he got the axe yet and he doesn’t fell like telling them just yet so he decides to stay in a hotel until his parents expect him home for Christmas vacation. When he arrives in the city he hops on a cab to a cheesy hotel for the night and as he is alone in his room he feels lonely and sort of depressed so he goes to the bar in the hotel for a drink. All the people in the bar make him even more depressed so he decides to call it a night.
On the way to his room, in the elevator the elevator attendant offers to send him up a hooker for the night. Being a virgin Holden decides to take him up on the hooker. Once the hooker makes it up to his room he gets cold feet and decides not to have sex with her and just talk. The hooker gets mad at Holden for wasting her time and leaves. Minutes later the hooker’s pimp comes looking for money and eventually ends up beating up Holden. The following day Holden calls up an old girlfriend Sally Hues for a date.
On the date they get into a minor argument with each other and Holden actually tells her that she is a ‘pain in the ass. ‘; That was the end of that date. That night Holden meets an old friend at the bar and gets very, very drunk and realizes that he has spent all his money and is very depressed. He has no place to go nobody to talk to and he feels really crumby he even mentioned dying. His only other choice was to sneak home and see his sister then leave in the morning.
When he gets there his little sister soon figures out that he was kicked out of school and gets mad at him because she is scared that their father will be very mad at him. After he left his house he called his old teacher Mr. Antolini and he invited him over to talk. Finally Mr. Antolini invited him for the night. They talked for a while longer, and then Holden went to sleep on the couch. A few hours later he was woken up by Mr. Antolini lying in the floor beside him with his hand on Holden’s cheek, it scared the pants off of him; he thought he was being perverted so he left in a hurry.
Holden wandered around aimlessly for a while thinking about running away to a place where nobody knew him and he wouldn’t have to interact with others. He is getting extremely depressed and doesn’t have any direction on what he is going to do with himself. Holden decides he is going to see his sister then hitch hike west. While waiting for his sister to get out of school for lunch Holden almost vomits and has a terrible headache. He passed out at the museum where he was waiting for his sister. After his sister finished giving him hell for trying to run away he decided to stay at home and he even found his smile.