Here’s a summary of Chapter 4 of “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger:
Catcher in the Rye Chapter 4 Summary: Holden’s Arrival in New York City
In Chapter 4, Holden Caulfield arrives in New York City after leaving Pencey Prep a few days before the end of the term. He checks into the Edmont Hotel, and as he settles into his room, he reflects on various aspects of his life and the world around him.
Holden provides a description of his family, including his parents, whom he feels are disconnected from him, and his brothers, D.B. and Allie. Allie’s death from leukemia has left a profound impact on Holden, and he shares his sense of loss and sadness regarding his brother’s death.
Throughout the chapter, Holden’s thoughts reveal his sense of loneliness and alienation. He feels disconnected from the people around him and has a strong desire to find meaning and authenticity in a world he perceives as filled with phoniness.
Holden also expresses his desire to protect the innocence of children, which is a recurring theme in the novel. He mentions a poem he read in a magazine that refers to the idea of being the “catcher in the rye,” someone who saves children from falling off a cliff of adulthood and losing their innocence.
As Holden settles into his hotel room, he contemplates his plan to stay in New York City for a few days before returning home and facing his parents with the news of his expulsion from Pencey Prep.
Chapter 4 continues to delve into Holden’s character and his complex emotions as he navigates the challenges of adolescence and seeks authenticity in a world that often feels phony and disconnected.