When people talk about J.D. Salinger’s famous novel “The Catcher in the Rye,” one of the most notable scenes that comes to mind is Holden Caulfield’s visit to the Lavender Room. But when exactly does Holden go to the Lavender Room? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this pivotal scene in the book.
The Lavender Room and Holden’s Motives
Holden Caulfield is a teenager who has been expelled from a number of preparatory schools, and is spending a few days in New York City before he has to officially return home. He decides to spend some time at the Lavender Room, a nightclub inside the Edmont Hotel, hoping to find some company.
Chapter 12: The First Lavender Room Encounter
Holden’s first visit to the Lavender Room takes place in Chapter 12. He’s just had a fight with Sally Hayes, a girl he has a complicated relationship with. He feels depressed and lonely, and decides to take a taxi to the nightclub. When he arrives at the Lavender Room, he spends some time observing the other patrons, including a group of businessmen wearing fedoras who annoy him with their inauthenticity. Holden tries to strike up a conversation with three women who are sitting nearby, but they’re dismissive of him. Eventually, he leaves and walks around the city feeling even more despondent than before.
Chapter 14: The Second Lavender Room Encounter
Holden’s second visit to the Lavender Room occurs in Chapter 14. This time, he goes with his friend Luce, a former schoolmate who he hopes will provide some intellectual stimulation. However, the Lavender Room is loud and chaotic, and Holden feels uncomfortable in the environment. He gets drunk and starts to act erratically, eventually getting into a fight with Luce and storming out of the nightclub.
What the Lavender Room Represents
The Lavender Room is a symbol of luxury and sophistication, both of which are antithetical to Holden’s values and worldview. He sees the nightclub as phony and superficial, filled with people who are more concerned with appearances than with real human connection. However, he’s drawn to the Lavender Room because it represents an experience that is outside the realm of his everyday life. In a way, it’s a microcosm of Holden’s larger struggle to find meaning and connection in a world that he perceives as empty and disingenuous.
In conclusion, Holden’s visits to the Lavender Room are significant moments in “The Catcher in the Rye” because they reveal much about his character and his worldview. The Lavender Room is a space that stands in opposition to everything that Holden holds dear, but it also represents something alluring and fascinating to him. The scenes in the nightclub are a window into Holden’s inner turmoil and his quest to find authenticity and connection.
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Last update 2023-09-22. Price and product availability may change.