The Catcher in the Rye is the story of Holden Caulfield's fall into depression. As every page turns, Holden does something that pulls him down further into his depression. Without his sister Phoebe, he would have kept falling until he hit rock bottom. .
Holden's fall seems to begin at an early age, since he refers to his early days as "my lousy childhood" (Salinger, 1). He is very vague about his childhood, however, because his parents are very touchy when it comes to personal information. The story he is telling starts with him on a hill. He is trying to say goodbye to his school, Pencey Prep., since he was expelled. Of course, it was Holden's own fault since he failed everything except English. The fall starts to pick up speed with that blow. He is ruining his education, one of the things you really need to be successful in life. He then tells us that he was the equipment manager of the fencing team and when they were going to another school for a meet, he left all the equipment on the subway. By doing that, he probably lost the trust of the team, although it did not seem to affect him much. Later on, Holden goes to see his history teacher, Mr. Spencer, who is sick. During their conversation, Mr. Spencer asks Holden if he has any concern for his future at all. Holden's exact words are "Oh, I feel some concern for my future, all right. Sure. Sure, I do. But not too much, I guess. Not too much, I guess."(Salinger, 14) This shows that Holden really does not care that he was expelled and is not looking into the future at all. Another factor in Holden's fall is his addiction to lying. He is constantly lying throughout the book and he knows it. "If I"m on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I"m going, I"m liable to say that I"m going to the opera."(Salinger, 16). Hopefully, that is a lie also because it is pretty ridiculous. On Saturday night at Pencey, Holden was alone in his room as his roommate, Ward Stradlater, was on a date with Holden's old friend Jane Gallagher.