The Catcher in the Rye

by

J. D. Salinger

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Carl Luce Character Analysis

Three years older than Holden, Luce was Holden’s student mentor at the Whooton School. During this time, he often regaled Holden and other students with stories about sex. Holden still remembers the way Luce used to be able to identify whether or not a person was gay, a skill Holden found quite impressive even if he secretly thought that Luce himself might be gay. During one of his lonelier moments in New York, Holden decides to call Luce even though he doesn’t necessarily even like him. In fact, the last time he saw him, he called him a “phony” to his face, which is perhaps why Luce is cold and removed when he eventually agrees to meet Holden at a bar late that night—an encounter that ends with Luce calling Holden immature and suggesting that he see a psychoanalyst.
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Carl Luce Character Timeline in The Catcher in the Rye

The timeline below shows where the character Carl Luce appears in The Catcher in the Rye. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Madness, Depression, Suicide Theme Icon
...Jane, or another friend named Sally Hayes. He even considers calling a guy named Carl Luce, one of his classmates at the Whooton School, but he remembers that he doesn’t even... (full context)
Chapter 18
Phoniness Theme Icon
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
Madness, Depression, Suicide Theme Icon
...number. Instead of calling any of these people, he decides to reach out to Carl Luce, an older boy he knows from the Whooton School. Carl is a very smart person,... (full context)
Phoniness Theme Icon
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
To pass the time before he’s supposed to meet Carl Luce, Holden goes to the movies at Radio City Music Hall. He’s annoyed by the Rockettes... (full context)
Chapter 19
Phoniness Theme Icon
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
Women and Sex Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Holden waits for Carl Luce at the Wicker Bar in the Seton Hotel, which he describes as a very fancy... (full context)
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
Women and Sex Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
When Luce arrives, Holden points out the group of men at the other end of the bar... (full context)
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
Women and Sex Theme Icon
Madness, Depression, Suicide Theme Icon
...that he can’t become intimate with a girl unless he actually likes her. In response, Luce says he should see a psychoanalyst. Because Luce’s father is an analyst, Holden asks what... (full context)