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Catcher in the Rye, Catcher in the Rye
vocabulary, characters, symbols, themes
Terms in this set (82)
17 year old narrator;cynical; expelled from Pencey Prep
Holden's next door neighbor in his dorm at Pencey; cuts his toenails and leaves them on the floor
Holden's roommate at Pencey; dates Jane Gallagher; handsome, wealthy, and popular
one of the few girls that Holden respects; dated Stradlater
Holden's brother who died of leukemia; Holden describes him as the smartest Caufield and keeps his baseball mitt
Holden's older brother; writer; Holden considers him a prostitute because he writes because he writes for Hollywood movies
Holden's history teacher at Pencey who tries to help Holden figure out his problems; Holden is disgusted because this character is old
red hunting hat
symbol of Holden's uniqueness and individuality
How does Holden let the fencing team down?
They were going to New York and he forgot the team equipment on the subway.
Why is Holden being kicked out of Pencey Prep?
He is kicked out for failing 4/5 of classes. The only class he passed was English.
What does Spencer do that particularly annoyed Holden?
He read aloud one of Holden's essays
What does Ackley do that annoys Holden?
He walks around Holden's room, picks up all this stuff, and put it back in the wrong place
One item was Holden's picture of a girl he "used to go around with" named Sally Hayes
Holden gives up and starts to "horse around"-- Pulling hunting cap over his eyes and pretending to be blind
Remind us how he said he sometimes acts like he's 12
Ackley asks about the hat and informs him that it is a deer-hunting hat
Holden syas no and that it is a people-shooting hat
Ackely proceeds to cut his toenails and leave the clippings all over the floor.
Who is Stradlater? Why does Holden refer to him as a "secret slob"? What does he look like?
He is a slob. He acts like he has it all put together but he does not
What point does Holden try to make about people when he talk s about Stradlater and the "Commas" and Ackley's description of the basketball player?
He tells Holden to add commas in the wrong places of his paper because Stradlater does not think he is as good of a writer as Holden. Holden thinks that this is dumb because what makes a paper good is its content, not the placement of commas. Ackley says that what makes a basketball player is his build. This annoys Holden because what makes a player good is talent and skill.
Why does it make Holden nervous that Stradlater is going out with Jane Gallagher?
Because it is suggested that Jane was his first love and he probably still loves her, so he is nervous that Stradlater will try and make a move on her, and possibly even more so that she will let him
Who is Allie, and why is his baseball mitt so special to Holden?
Allie would write poems on his mitt when he was bored out in the outfield. He died young of Leukemia. Notice: At age 13, his brother died. This is around the time when he started getting kicked out of school. His parents wanted him to be psychoanalyzed.
Why did Holden's parents want to have him psychoanalyzed?
He punched a window and was acting pretty crazy after Allie died, got kicke dout of loads of schools, so his parents wanted to get him psychoanalyzed because it was the hip thing to do at the time. They just wanted to seem like they were trying to 'fix' him
What do Holden and Stradlater fight over?
Holden wants to know the details of the sate and Stradlater says that he "does not kiss and tell."
Holden says that he is a "pacifist." What is that, and is he?
Holden is not a pacifist. Although, he likes the idea of being one.
What does Holden suddenly decide to visit Ackley's room?
He wants to be in a different place from Stradlater
Where does Holden then decide to go?
He decides to leave for New York. It was impulsive, and he was very embarrassed and had no one, really
What is his final goodbye to Pencey Prep
He screams, "Sleep tight morons!"
Why do you think Holden cries as he leaves?
Because he is so lonely
What does Holden mean when he says, "Mothers are all slightly insane"?
They will always believe the best about their kid
What are some of the lies Holden tells Mrs. Morrow? Do you think he's as sorry for them as he states?
That his son is adaptable, modest, kind, etc. He probably does not feel that bad because it had good intention to make her be proud of her son. He also told her that he was getting intense surgery in his brain!
Holden calls other people phony. In what way is he one?
Maybe he really is not a phony. He is self searching and is trying to be the person he wants to be even though he is not there yet.
Who is Phoebe, and what is Holden's opinion of her?
His sister whom he loves. She is very funny and cool. She has a really nice and spontaneous personality. She is very self assured compared to Holden. She is 10 years old
What evidence is there that shows us that Holden probably doesn't look as old as he says he looks?
He thinks that he is mature and older looking, but he is not. He got carded, mocked by the girls at the bar, and tries proving he has grey hair. He is searching for confidence
What was the past relationship like between Holden and Jane?
They were really close, almost like crushes. Maybe, Jane was his first love. It is a pretty innocence romance
Why does Holden leave Ernie's?
Holden leaves Ernie's because he saw D.B's ex girlfriend, Lillian Simmons. He thought that she was a phony because he assumed she was just talking to him so Holden would tell D.B. that he saw her. He thinks that Lillian is pretentious by standing in the middle of the walkway
Previously, Holden stated he was a "pacifist." Does his description of how he should deal with the "glove thief: support this, or is he just "yellow"?
He said he would confront the guy and nicely ask for the glove back. He does not want confrontation, however. Just because he is scared does not make him a coward. He is failing to see himself for who he is
Does Holden have any guilty feelings about Allie? Do you feel this is abnormal in any way, or normal?
He has guilty feelings. One time, Holden excluded him. This is normal because it is a very human feeling to have. It shows human nature It is especially worse because death makes it harder to reconcile
What makes Holden cry?
He cries when the stripper comes in with the pimp. However, he does a good job of standing his ground
What evidence shows us that Holden might have made a good actor?
He acts older than he is or tells people that he is someone else. He tries on personalities
What is the point that Holden tries to make about people when he elaborates about the suitcases of the nuns and of his former roommate?
His suitcase is way nicer than his roommates so he puts his suitcase under the bed. But it backfires when the roommate takes it out, acting like it was his own. This shows sympathy from Holden. He also feels bad for nuns because he has way more than they do
How does Holden treat the nuns?
He gives them a donation and then tries to pay for their meal, treating them extremely nicely. They are some of the few non corrupt adults that he encounters
Why does Holden think it spoils a conversation if someone asks what religion he is?
He thinks that he will be judged or perhaps be excluded. Holden also thinks that it might even be a class indicator of sorts, and that people are trying to figure out who he is in ways he doesn't think are of value.
Who does Holden make a date with? Why does he call her up if he thinks she's a phony?
He calls Sally. He knew that she had an interest in theater and he wanted some companionship. He wanted to go to the matinee with her. When he is turned on by someone he pushes the idea aside that they could ever be a phony
How does Holden treat little kids? Give an example
He seems caring and is surprised by the respect form the children these days, He helped her with her skates and offered her hot chocolate because he noticed that her hands were cold, but she did not take it. He was looking for help to find his sister, but in the end, he was the one who ended up helping her
Does Holden know his way around the city? What does this tell us about him?
He knows the city well and wanders and explores. It shows that he grew up there
How do Holden's feelings for women compare to his feelings for men?
He loves women and puts them on a pedestal. However, he complains a lot about women, but then again that is natural. He does not seem to have any good guy friendships
How does Holden feel about actors? How does he feel about the Lunts?
He thinks that actors are phonies. Good actors who are too aware of their amazing skill will lose the factor that makes them so great. When someone knows how great they are, it ruins what made them great. Humility is needed.
What is Holden's point about the difference between men owning a car and men owning a horse?
The car shows materialism and a horse shows that there is some sort of relationship present. This can show that Holden wants to stop the advancement process and does not like progress
How does Holden describe a boy's school when talking to Sally?
It is not about learning to learn, it is about working towards prosperity, wealth, and rewards
Why does Holden want to take off with Sally now instead of after college? What's the difference in his eyes?
He knows that if he hated her earlier, and lovers her now, both in the same day, then he knows that his emotions are fleeting. He wants to take advantage of loving her right now. When he yells in public at her, this is the first time we see him fall apart. He thinks that society is superficial yet does not go against it. Phony? Mental illness? He is not well at this point in his life.
What is Holden's opinion of the Christmas show at Radio City?
He knows it's supposed to be religious, but he "can't see anything religious or pretty." He says how Jesus wouldn't notice the pretty costumes or acting, it would be the drummer
Why did Holden think the woman who cried through the movie was a phony?
She wouldn't let her son use the restroom. Since she cried so much, Holden says that, "nine times out of ten they're mean bastards at heart."
Why did Holden get mad at Luce for calling his old girlfriend the "***** of New Hampshire"?
Holden idolizes women. Luce should respect her and shouldn't shame her for anything since she did "sexy" things with him. Its a double standard since he did the same exact things with her
Who was Luce to Holden?
He went to school with Holden at Whooten. Holden didn't particularly like him. Holden even calls him, "strictly a pain in the ass." Luce seems very homophobic as does Holden in this chapter. Luce is probably not the casanova he makes himself out to be. Luce gives sex talks even though he is likely not experienced
How does Holden "act" again in this chapter?
He acts really drunk. He talks to the piano player and he calls Sally in the middle of the night. He's very intrusive and doesn't pay attention to the normal standards. He acts lonelier and reckless since he's drunk. Now, he's also a mess since he's crying in the bathroom. He also acts like he has the stomach wound. He wants to know what people would think if he died. Who would care about him? It's also a physical representation of him. he's trying to keep it from people, but he would willing to share if anyone asked about his situation.
What happens to Holden at the Wicker Bar?
He talks to the pianist at the bar. He needed someone to talk to since he's, "feeling so damn depressed and lonesome."
What happens to Phoebe's record?
It breaks. Holden cries and feels guilty. Gives Phoebe the pieces even though it broke.
Where does Holden go right after he leaves the bar?
Holden goes to the phone booth and calls Sally Hayes. Then, he goes to the duck pond in Central Park.
What information does Holden finally tell us about Allie's funeral?
Holden missed Allie's funeral because he was still in the hospital after he hurt his hand. He feels a lot of guilt for this.
What does Holden say about Allie that contradicts all his other statements about being an atheist?
Holden says he knows that Allie's soul is in Heaven. Holden says that because it makes him feel better that Allie is someplace better.
After he leaves the park, where does Holden go?
He went home after he leaves the park
What does Holden find so intriguing about Phoebe's note-book?
He was intrigued because Phoebe wrote her middle name as "Weatherfield" when in actuality, it is "Josephine." Holden is charmed by her innocence.
Why did it depress Holden when an "Old guy" tells him that his days at Pencey were the happiest days of his life?
Holden didn't have that experience and he thought it was phony and the fact that it was about his future made him upset.
What does it tell us about Holden when Phoebe states, "You don't like anything that's happening"?
It tells us that he is really depressed and doesn't really know what he likes. He is immature, and likes to argue he can't see the good in anything and Phoebe calls him out on it
Why does Holden think about James Castle when Phoebe asks him to name one thing that he likes a lot? Why does he deny really knowing James? What does it tell us about Holden when he says, "Just because somebody's dead, you don't just stop liking them, for God's sake-- especially if they were a thousand times nicer than the people you know that're alive and all'?
He thinks about James because he is thinking about the cruelty in the world making him go crazy. It is a perfect example of how cruel people bully the weak people. It shows Holden's inability to concentrate and proves Phoebe's point that he doesn't really like anything. He likes that James isn't phony and won't back down when he is being bullied. He and James never talked and weren't really friends, but James borrowed Holden's sweater once (the sweater he killed himself in). He is still hung up on Allie's death and doesn't want to forget about him. He feels really alone and Allie was one of the only people he actually liked.
What does Holden tell Phoebe he'd like to be?
Holden says he would like to be a catcher in the rye, and stand at the edge of the cliff and catch the chldren when they are close to falling off. He has a desire to keep children innocent and wants to save them.
Who is Mr. Antolini?
Mr. Antolini is Holden's old teacher from Elkton Hills. He was Holden's favorite teacher. He told Holden to get his life together
How does Phoebe cover for Holden when their parents came home?
Phoebe covers for Holden when the parents come home by saying that she was smoking (Holden had been smoking a cigarette earlier) She said she took one puff to help her sleep.
In talking with her parents how does Phoebe "sound" like Holden?
Phoebe is similar to Holden because she is sassy, and she was lying to them. She also uses the word "lousy." sShe sounds like Holden because she tries to sound more matures than she really is.
What does Phoebe do that makes Holden cry?
Phoebe makes Holden cry when she gives him all of her Christmas money
What does Holden give to Phoebe?
Holden gives Phoebe his red hunting hat and pieces of the broken record
Why did Holden fail his speech class?
He didn't go to class. He liked when people digressed from their topic
How does Holden feel physically while he talks to Mr. Antolini?
Holden feels ill while talking to Mr. Antolini
What does Holden say about him hating people, such as Ackley and Stradlater?
He doesn't hate people consistently, but when they do certain things.
What does Antolini's quote mean, "the mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one"?
Holden's cause is getting rid of phoniness-immature
How does Antolini upset and scare Holden?
Mr. Antolini was stroking Holden's head, and Holden thinks he is pulling a homosexual advance.
Later, after he has had time to think about it, what does Holden think about Antolini?
Holden started questioning himself and realized his judgment was a little off.
Why does the article on hormones upset Holden?
He realized he had the bad hormones that the article described.
What strange feeling does Holden start to have when he steps off the curbs?
He feels like he won't make it to the other side of the curb and will disappear.
Why does he keep repeating, "Allie, don't let me disappear"?
He's alone, nobody knows that he is in the city and feels weak, unseen, almost sick. He is pleading with Allie to watch him so that he literally does not disappear into the bigness of New York, his mind, or possibly life itself
What does HOlden decide he must do next? Where does he first go?
He decided he must go west to work on a ranch. He is going to say goodbye to Phoebe and have lunch with her
With all the bad language that Holden uses, why was he so upset that curse words were written on a school wall?
He loves the innocence of children and feels this bad language takes away the innocence of children.
How does Holden treat the two small boys in the museum?
He is very kind to the boys and takes them to the mummy area of the museum
Why is it so important to Holden that Phoebe not be mad at him? Relate this to his past, and Allie
He doesn't want Phoebe to be mad at him and then die like Allie did-- guilt.
What does Holden mean when he states, "The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it's bad if you say anything to them"?
You have to let children try it on their own first. "let them scrape their knee so they know."
What is the carrousel symbolic of?
It is cyclical; life keeps going and going. It symbolizes childhood; Holden is afraid of growing up
What does Holden mean when he says, "Don't even tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody."?
Don't get close to anyone. They will leave or disappoint you
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