Catcher in the Rye Chapter 17Presentation Transcript
The Catcher in the Rye
Holden is early for his date with Sally, so he waits for her and indulges in a bit of girl watching.
“A lot of schools were home for vacation already, and there were about a million girls sitting and standing around waiting for their dates to show up.”
“ Girls with their legs crossed, girls with their legs not crossed, girls with terrific legs, girls with lousy legs, girls that looked like swell girls, girls that looked like they'd be bitches if you knew them.”
Sally arrives ten minutes late, but since she is looking extremely nice, Holden decides not to be upset with her.
“Finally, old Sally started coming up the stairs, and I started down to meet her. She looked terrific. She really did. She had on this black coat and sort of a black beret.”
“She hardly ever wore a hat, but that beret looked nice.”
“The funny part is, I felt like marrying her the minute I saw her. I'm crazy. I didn't even like her much, and yet all of a sudden I felt like I was in love with her and wanted to marry her.”
“I swear to God I'm crazy. I admit it.”
They watch the play for which Holden has bought tickets, and he reluctantly admits the show is not bad.
“The show wasn't as bad as some I've seen. It was on the crappy side, though.”
“It was about five hundred thousand years in the life of this one old couple. It starts out when they're young and all, and the girl's parents don't want her to marry the boy, but she marries him anyway.”
“Then they keep getting older and older. The husband goes to war, and the wife has this brother that's a drunkard. I couldn't get very interested.”
“They were all just a bunch of actors. The husband and wife were a pretty nice old couple--very witty and all--but I couldn't get too interested in them.”
“ For one thing, they kept drinking tea or some goddam thing all through the play. Every time you saw them, some butler was shoving some tea in front of them, or the wife was pouring it for somebody.”
“ And everybody kept coming in and going out all the time--you got dizzy watching people sit down and stand up.”
“Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne were the old couple, and they were very good, but I didn't like them much.”
“They were different, though, I'll say that. They didn't act like people and they didn't act like actors.”
“It's hard to explain. They acted more like they knew they were celebrities and all.”
“I mean they were good, but they were too good.”
“When one of them got finished making a speech, the other one said something very fast right after it.”
“It was supposed to be like people really talking and interrupting each other and all.”
“The trouble was, it was too much like people talking and interrupting each other.”
“ They acted a little bit the way old Ernie, down in the Village, plays the piano. If you do something too good, then, after a while, if you don't watch it, you start showing off.”
“ And then you're not as good any more.”
“ But anyway, they were the only ones in the show--the Lunts, I mean--that looked like they had any real brains. I have to admit it.”
Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne were the pre-eminent Broadway acting couple.
They have a Broadway theater named after them (The Lunt-Fontanne).
Celebrated for their sophisticated comic skills, they were known for their ability to swiftly overlap dialogue with such adroitness that every word was understood.
They appeared together in over 24 plays - and most recently on an American postage stamp. The couple also made one film together (The Guardsman 1931), starred in several radio dramas for the Theatre Guild in the 1940s and starred in a few television productions in the 1950s and 1960s. They retired in 1966.
Afterward, Sally suggests they go ice skating at Radio City, mostly because she wants to rent one of those little skating skirts to show off her legs.
However, both Holden and she are miserable skaters, and they finally retreat to the bar for cokes.
While having refreshments, Holden is suddenly roused from his depression with the thought of running away.
He asks Sally to go with him, but she dismisses his idea, thinking he is being weird.
"Look," I said. "Here's my idea. How would you like to get the hell out of here? Here's my idea. I know this guy down in Greenwich Village that we can borrow his car for a couple of weeks. He used to go to the same school I did and he still owes me ten bucks.”
“What we could do is, tomorrow morning we could drive up to Massachusetts and Vermont, and all around there, see. It's beautiful as hell up there, It really is."
I was getting excited as hell, the more I thought of it, and I sort of reached over and took old Sally's goddam hand.
What a goddam fool I was. "No kidding," I said. "I have about a hundred and eighty bucks in the bank. I can take it out when it opens in the morning, and then I could go down and get this guy's car.”
“ No kidding. We'll stay in these cabin camps and stuff like that till the dough runs out.”
“ Then, when the dough runs out, I could get a job somewhere and we could live somewhere with a brook and all and, later on, we could get married or something. I could chop all our own wood in the wintertime and all. Honest to God, we could have a terrific time! Wuddaya say? C'mon! Wuddaya say? Will you do it with me? Please!"