A Letter from Holden from Catcher in the Rye

A Letter from Holden from Catcher in the Rye

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A Letter from Holden from Catcher in the Rye


Dear Holden,

Hi mate, what’s gone wrong with you? I can’t believe this has happened
to you. You were fine when I left, after Allie dying and all. You know
when I last saw you I was with Rachel (The English Actress). Well I
proposed to her and she said yes. I am organising our honeymoon and
the wedding so I am a bit tied up at the moment. So that is why I am
writing a letter and not coming down to see you in person. In your
previous letter, on a few occasions, you seemed to talk as if you were
a different person. I wanna give you some advice. It will be easier if
I tell you how I would have acted, or how you should have acted, just
to help you.

I remember you told me about that guy, Stradlater, and he was going on
a date with Jane. He asked you to do an essay for him. I wouldn’t have
done it for him; you have got your own life, try living it brother.
Why didn’t you tell him you didn’t want to do it for him? If he was an
alright guy he would have stayed at the school and written it himself.
He was walking all over you and he only did it because you did not
have anything better to do, because you were getting kicked out of
Pencey in a few days.

The thing with you is that you just can’t help yourself. Stradlater
started talking for ages about Jane Gallagher and his date with her
and you were stunned by this information. So when you stopped talking
he just asked you. “Will you do it for me then?” and you gave in to
him. It didn’t take any persuasion. Nothing.

Later on in your letter, you talked about meeting this pimp, Maurice,
in a lift. He asked you if you wanted to have some fun that night.
Why? Why did you say yes? You don’t have to have a prostitute to have
a good time. They are for sick, old perverts, not a sixteen-year-old,
Holden. When the girl turned up, you should have just given her the
money and made her leave. You didn’t even have to talk to her. She had
her own life and she either wanted to have sex or go back to sleep.
When that pimp came back because you didn’t give the girl enough money
you should have just given the money to him. In your description he
sounded huge, so I would have given him it.

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Why didn’t you just give
him the $5 and let them leave? It wasn’t a lot of money; you had about
$300 with you. What’s $5 when you have all that dough? You would at
least have saved your face from getting smashed in.

I just do not know what we will do with you. You don’t like school and
you don’t like being in the city by yourself. You have to forget about
Allie; yeah he was great, but there is more important stuff to be
getting on with like getting good grades and finding new mates.

Holden, why couldn’t you just call up Mum and Dad and ask to come
home? You could have told them what you told me and they would
understand, I know they would. They love us both and Phoebe would also
want to try to help you through this rough patch.

Talking of Phoebe, can you remember how she would just butt into our
conversations when she was young? We would be talking and then she
would ask, “So, who was this?” or “Who said that?” I went back to see
them last year. She hasn’t changed a bit. Maybe she’s is a bit taller
and a bit more intelligent, but she’s still the same old whimsical,
country Phoebe inside. She was missing you when I left and she kept on
asking when you were coming back home. Mum just told her you would be
back at the end of the school term. Everyone hopes you will come back
at the end of the next school term, Holden. We all miss you and the
smiles you bring to our faces. Sorry to sound soppy. It’s what this
Hollywood lifestyle, with all their romantic scripts, do to you
sometimes!

Now I would like to talk to you about your little rendezvous with
Sally Hayes. Why did you want to hang around with a self-obsessed
blonde in the first place? You could have rung up Jane or even Lillian
Simmons; you know, my ex. You rang her up at just after 10 o’clock,
and asked her if she wanted to go out that day. She said “Yes” but you
could have rung her in advance. You had a pretty awful date. The Lunts
were playing – Her Favourite! After that you went skating when you
can’t even skate. What is the point of that? You didn’t have to waste
your money doing that crap. Then, out of the blue, you asked her to
run away with you. WHY? It was pretty obvious she was going to say no.
A high-class girl like that living out of a suitcase isn’t likely.
Then you went all psycho on her and started ranting. You should have
never even made that date with her in the first place. She is a
stuck-up little show-off who is bound to make your life a goddam hell.

One last point I just want to say, stop living in the past. Allie is
dead. He has been for nearly five years now. You have to get over his
death. I have, Phoebe has, and so have Mum and Dad. Yeah we miss him
but life goes on. It might be hard to hear but that is why you are in
such a goddam mess. Before he died, you were doing fine in school, and
enjoying yourself. Now you have been through four schools and
wondering which school to go to next. If you could get it together it
would really help your school life and yourself. I think you need to
take one long look at yourself and think, what has happened to me?
Allie wouldn’t want you to be acting this way.

I hope the help you are getting from the psychoanalyst is good and
that it is helping you to try to get on with your life. I had to go
and see the Doctor recently because I have been suffering quite bad
migraines with all the Hollywood noise and all.

In about four months it is my wedding and I would really like you to
turn up and wish me good luck. I think that she is the one for me. I
have bought her a nice little Mercedes for a wedding day present in a
cherry red colour. So, if everything goes to plan, will I see you
soon?
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