The narrator of The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield, tells the story of what he did on one particular day in December 1949 and how those events changed his life.
In the final scenes of The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield returns to his hometown of New York City and begins looking for a place to stay. With nowhere else to go, he checks into a hotel. Holden is drunk from all the drinking that took place in the days leading up to his arrival, so he calls his friend Sally Hayes and tells her he’s in trouble.
Sally says she is coming over right away, but Holden says no. His reasoning is that if she comes over now, something bad will happen between them. He doesn’t want their relationship to start off again on such an intimate note.
Holden Caulfield at the end of Catcher in the Rye is an icon of teenage rebellion and angst. He has just tried to kill himself after leaving his parents’ home, and he finds himself in a mental hospital for four days. While he’s there, he talks about what he’ll do when he gets out. The novel ends with him being released from the hospital and deciding to stay at his sister’s apartment in California. This ending is not a happy one; Phoebe isn’t excited to have her brother staying with her, and Holden knows that if it weren’t for him being allowed to stay with her, she would have never talked to him again.