Chapter 1 of The Catcher in the Rye introduces the narrator and starts his sardonic recollections starting with the night of the big game at Pencey.

Notes Edit

  • My Brother D.B.
  • Pencey Prep School
  • Feeling Good-bys

Analysis Edit

Salinger establishes Holden's style of narration, which is somewhat casual and reflecting of teenage colloquial speech of the time, but the reader is not given any clear description as to whom Holden is talking to or where he is. Holden however hints that in the present time, he is in a medical institution as he mentions how he "practically got t.b. and came out here for all these goddam checkups and stuff". He would further hint his location during the final chapter.

During the narrator's introduction, he mentions "David Copperfield kind of crap". Younger reader usually mistake this reference to the illusionist David Copperfield. Holden is instead referring to the Charles Dickens novel,[1] whose first chapter is about the titular character describing his birth. Interestingly, this chapter of David Copperfield mentions a "caul" or the membrane covering a fetus' head. Some interpretations argue that this reference to David Cooperfield suggests a relationship to the Holden's last name and being the savior in the field, which is further explained in Chapter 22.

Quotes Edit

"Strictly for birds."

Holden Caulfield , about Pencey

References Edit