Here’s a detailed summary of Chapter 24 of “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger:
Catcher in the Rye Chapter 24 Summary: Holden’s Farewell to Phoebe
In Chapter 24, Holden Caulfield continues his narrative in New York City, where he has decided to leave and head west. The chapter begins with Holden reflecting on his decision to say goodbye to his younger sister, Phoebe, one last time.
Holden mentions that he plans to leave a note for Phoebe at the American Museum of Natural History, a place she often visits. He hopes that the note will convey his love and farewell to her.
As he enters the museum, Holden is struck by the exhibits and the beauty of the displays. He mentions that the museum represents a rare instance of authenticity and permanence in a world that often feels ephemeral and phony.
Holden searches for a suitable place to leave the note for Phoebe, but he becomes increasingly aware of the challenges and complexities of his plan. He realizes that he can’t simply leave a note and disappear from her life without causing her distress.
Holden’s inner turmoil intensifies as he grapples with the consequences of his decision. He is torn between his desire to protect Phoebe and his desire for authenticity and self-discovery.
The chapter culminates in Holden’s realization that he can’t bear to leave Phoebe behind. He decides not to leave the note and to stay in the city. He mentions that he will return home, even though he knows it will lead to conflict with his parents.
Chapter 24 is a poignant chapter that explores Holden’s internal struggles and his deep love for his sister, Phoebe. It underscores his desire to protect innocence and vulnerability and his ongoing quest for authenticity and meaning in a world that often appears phony and disillusioning. Holden’s decision not to leave the note represents a significant moment of growth and self-discovery as he confronts the complexities of his relationships and his own identity.