Catcher in the Rye

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Holden Characterization


“... I gave the driver my regular address, just out of habit and all--I mean I completely forgot I was going to shack up in a hotel for a couple of days and not go home till vacation started. I didn't think of it till we were halfway through the park.

Then I said, "Hey, do you mind turning around when you get a chance? I gave you the wrong address. I want to go back downtown."

The driver was sort of a wise guy. "I can't turn around here, Mac. This here's a one-way. I'll have to go all the way to Ninetieth Street now."

I didn't want to start an argument. "Okay," I said. Then I thought of something, all of a sudden. "Hey, listen," I said. "You know those ducks in that lagoon right near Central Park South? That little lake? By any chance, do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over? Do you happen to know, by any chance?"

I realized it was only one chance in a million. He turned around and looked at me like I was a madman. "What're ya tryna do, bud?" he said. "Kid me?"

"No, I was just interested, that's all." He didn't say anything more, so I didn't either. Until we came out of the park at Ninetieth Street. Then he said, "All right, buddy. Where to?"

"Well, the thing is, I don't want to stay at any hotels on the East Side where I might run into some acquaintances of mine. I'm traveling incognito," I said. I hate saying corny things like "traveling incognito." But when I'm with somebody that's corny, I always act corny too. "Do you happen to know whose band's at the Taft or the New Yorker, by any chance?"

"No idear, Mac."

"Well, take me to the Edmont then," I said. "Would you care to stop on the way and join me for a cocktail? On me. I'm loaded."

"Can't do it, Mac. Sorry." He certainly was good company. Terrific personality.

In the above passage, Holden is presented as all of the following EXCEPT