The Catcher in the Rye

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The Catcher in the Rye Chapter 19 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Holden waits for Carl Luce at the Wicker Bar in the Seton Hotel. He says the place is filled with so many phonies its enough to make anyone "hate everybody in the world."
Holden's depressed hatred-of-everything rant gains in intensity.
Themes
Phoniness Theme Icon
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
Madness, Depression, Suicide Theme Icon
Holden says Luce knew more about sex than anybody at the Whooton School, even though he always seemed somewhat "flirty" (homosexual). When Luce arrives, Holden asks him about his sex life. Though Luce admits that he's dating an older woman, he resists getting into what he calls a "typical Caulfield conversation."
Holden's thoughts about Luce betray his teenage sexual insecurity, right down to his fears about homosexuality. Just as Holden seemed to purposely sabotage any connection with Sally, he does the same with Luce.
Themes
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
Women and Sex Theme Icon
Madness, Depression, Suicide Theme Icon
Luce asks Holden if he's ever going to grow up, and says Holden's sex life is lousy because he's immature. Holden agrees. Luce tells Holden to see a psychoanalyst. Holden remembers that Luce's father is a psychoanalyst, and asks him if he was ever analyzed by his father. Luce, annoyed, leaves.
Luce clearly recognizes that Holden needs help. But Holden responds by protecting his alienation: he seems to imply a homosexual relationship between Luce and his father in order to make Luce go away.
Themes
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
Women and Sex Theme Icon
Madness, Depression, Suicide Theme Icon