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Chapter 14 and 15

Chapter 14

It is getting daylight outside, and Holden is sitting in his hotel room, smoking cigarettes and thinking about his dead brother, Allie. He thinks about one time in Maine in which he didn't invite his brother to come along with him and his friend. He gets into bed and tries to pray but can't quite do it. He says he likes "Jesus and all," but doesn't care much about the rest of the Bible, the apostles, or ministers. Unable to pray, he smokes another cigarette.

Someone knocks at Holden's door, and when he finally opens it he comes face to face with the elevator operator, Maurice, and the prostitute, Sunny. He demands that Holden pay him the five dollars he claims Holden owes. While Holden and Maurice are arguing, Sunny gets the five dollars from Holden's wallet, which is lying out in plain sight. Holden is crying, and Maurice the elevator operator snaps his finger against Holden's pajamas. "I won't tell you where he snapped it," Holden says, "but it hurt like hell." Holden curses him, saying he's a cheat and a moron, and that he'll be a bum before long. He punches Holden hard in the stomach, and they both leave Holden lying on the floor.

After awhile, Holden starts clowning around, picturing himself as a movie character who's been shot. He pictures himself killing Maurice with a pistol, and then Jane arriving to bandage up his wounds and take care of him. Holden eventually goes to sleep, although he says that what he really wants to do is to jump out the window, except that he'd hate to have people gawking at his dead body lying on the sidewalk.

Chapter 15

Holden wakes up a few hours later, at ten a.m. He's hungry, but doesn't call room service because he's worried that Maurice will be the one to bring up the food. He thinks about calling Jane once again, but instead decides to call Sally Hayes. He invites her to go see a matinee performance and arranges to meet her at two. Then he checks out of the hotel, and checks his luggage at Grand Central Station.

While he's having breakfast, two nuns come in, and Holden helps them with their suitcases, which he notes are of an inexpensive sort. Holden finds cheap suitcases depressing. Once, when Holden was at a prep school called Elkton Hills, he had a roommate with cheap suitcases who would keep them under his bed rather than on the room's luggage rack where they could be seen. He'd make fun of Holden's expensive leather bags, calling them bourgeois. Holden decides: "The thing is, it's really hard to be roommates with people if your suitcases are much better than theirs - if yours are really good ones and theirs aren't." He concludes that this is one things he liked about Stradlater - both were well-off, so this sort of awkwardness didn't arise.

On impulse, Holden gives the nuns ten dollars, as a contribution. The nuns are teachers, and Holden gets into a discussion about Romeo and Juliet with one. Holden says Mercutio (Romeo's friend, who is killed in the confusion of a duel between Romeo and Juliet's kinsman Tybalt) is his favorite character. It would seem Holden identifies with the "smart and entertaining" loner Mercutio who dies in an attempt to protect others.

Holden concludes that he enjoyed talking to the nuns, although he worried that they'd try to find out whether he was Catholic. His father in fact was, but left the church when he married Holden's mother. The chapter ends with Holden regretting giving the nuns the money because he worries he won't have enough to take Sally Hayes out that afternoon.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4 and 5
Chapter 6 and 7
Chapter 8 and 9
Chapter 10 and 11
Chapter 12 and 13
Chapter 14 and 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17 and 18
Chapter 19 and 20
Chapter 21 and 22
Chapter 23 and 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26


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