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Catcher in the Rye Quotes

Updated on April 4, 2008

Why Catcher in the Rye Quotes?

The Catcher in the Rye quotes contained here are especially for my son, as it is one of his favorite all-time novels. Besides that, I l just enjoy collecting thought-provoking and creative quotations from literature and classic books.

The Catcher in the Rye is the only novel written by J.D. Salinger, although Salinger has written other material. The Catcher in the Rye follows a couple of days in the life of Holden Caulfield. Holden is a privileged young man who gets kicked out of prep school in New York City. The Catcher in the Rye is on many banned book lists.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from The Catcher in the Rye. All of the following The Catcher in the Rye quotes are spoken by Holden Caulfield.

The Catcher in the Rye Quotes - One of the Best Opening Lines Ever

"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."

Classic Books - The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye Quotes That Illustrate the Novel's Genius

"What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of a good-bye. I mean I've left schools and places I didn't even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don't care if it's a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I'm leaving it. If you don't, you feel even worse."

"I'm quite illiterate, but I read a lot."

"Then I started reading this timetable I had in my pocket. Just to stop lying. Once I get started, I can go on for hours if I feel like it. No kidding. Hours."

"All morons hate it when you call them a moron."

"If you want to know the truth, I'm a virgin. I really am. I've had quite a few opportunities to lose my virginity and all, but I've never got around to it yet."

"You think if they're intelligent and all, the other person, and have a good sense of humor, that they don't give a damn whose suitcases are better, but they do. They really do."

"Anyway, I'm sort of glad they've got the atomic bomb invented. If there's ever another war, I'm going to sit right the hell on top of it. I'll volunteer for it, I swear to God I will."

"I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn't have to have any g****m stupid, useless conversations with anybody. If anybody wanted to tell me something, they'd have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over to me. They'd get bored as hell doing that after a while, and then I'd be through with having conversations for the rest of my life." (edited to keep this page pg-rated)

Catcher in the Rye Quotes - Who Is The Catcher in the Rye?

"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy."

The Catcher in the Rye Quotes About Death

"Who wants flowers when you're dead? Nobody."

"I was the only one left in the tomb then. I sort of liked it, in a way. It was so nice and peaceful."

Catcher in the Rye Comments

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    • Perty profile image


      9 years ago

      I am a great Holden Caulfied fan. Anyone who really cares about what happens to the ducks in the winter is ok in my eyes.

    • maven101 profile image

      Larry Conners 

      12 years ago from Northern Arizona

      My wife does not read books, unless they are dry bones, encyclopedic, highly technical gibberish dealing with computer esoterica. One night, out of the blue, she grabbed this book from my shelve, sat down and read it through. Her only comment was " such a disgusting little man "....I asked her why she read it. She said our son, Jeff, aged 15, had read it in school and was asking her some rather strange questions. I told her to refer him to me.

      Excellent Hub...glad I found you..

    • Theophanes profile image

      Theophanes Avery 

      12 years ago from New England

      I tried reading this book when I was fourteen or so... Got through three pages before I couldn't take it anymore. I thought to myself if Holden were a real person I'd have to hold back an intense need to clock him... I don't remember now what inspired this sudden rash of violence in my head (highly out of character for me) but reading these quotes makes me want to go back and find out, especially because of that mute quote. I actually did do that growing up so people wouldn't talk to me... Nice little collection!

    • profile image

      jackson gnadinger 

      12 years ago

      i hate this book

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      12 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Now they're assigning it to H.S. English classes along with America's greatest (according to my college American Lit professor, Henry A. Myers) novel "Huckleberry Finn." Another one I liked in somewhat the same genre was "The Adventures of Augie March" by the great novelist from Chicago whose name escapes me at the moment. Aha! Saul Bellow without resorting to Google!

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 

      12 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Enjoyed reading your hub, Angela. I read "The Catcher in the Rye" many years ago. I didn't know at the time that it had been banned. I don't remember a lot of the details of the book, but I remember enough to wonder why in the world anyone would want to ban it. I've heard some general criticisms, but I'd love to know the specific reason given for the banning of the book.


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