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Catcher in the Rye

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The Catcher In t he Rye Dialogue Journal By Mary Katongole

What the Book Says | Character Analysis / Holden | Chapter 1“If you really to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know…and what a lousy childhood was like, ………but I don’t feel like going into it, if you’ll want to know the truth.” (Salinger 1.) | I can tell this novel is going to be in first person. From what I can tell, the narrator or main character, Holden, isn’t very optimistic about his life. When I first read a couple lines of this paragraph, I thought to myself “this book is going to be terrible” because Holden didn’t really grab my attention like I thought. | Chapter 2 “ Have you yourself communicated with them? ….. And how do you think they’ll take the news? Well …. They’ll be pretty irritated about it; … This is about the fourth school I’ve gone to… “Boy?” I said. I also say “Boy? Quite a lot. Partly because I have a lousy vocabulary and partly because I act quite young for my age sometimes” (Salinger 9.) | At the beginning of this quote, Holden is talking to Mr. Old Spencer. Mr. old Spencer is asking Holden if he told his parents that he got expelled from school. Holden seems to know what his problems in school are, but he doesn’t want to do anything. He likes to make himself seem like a bad boy, but it just makes him look stupid. | Chapter 3“The whole time he roomed next to me, I never even once saw him brush his teeth. They always looked mossy and awful………Besides that; he had a lot of pimples. Not just on his forehead or his chin, like most guys, but all over his face………. And not only that, he had a terrible personality” (Salinger 19.) | Here Holden is in his dorm room at Pencey describing his roommate, Ackley. He is saying all these terrible things about him, he has never really gotten to know him but right away you could tell he hates him deeply. Holden judges a lot of people, especially Ackley, always-saying bad stuff about them as if he’s any better. | Chapter 4 “ How’d she happen to mention me? Does she go to B.M now? She said she might go there. She said she might go to Shipley, too. I thought she went to Shipley. How’d she happen to mention me? | I have never seen a guy get so excited over a girl, especially since he’s trying to pull off that whole ‘bad boy” scene. | Chapter 5“I’d been to the movies with Brossard and Ackley before. They both laughed like hyenas at stuff that wasn’t even funny. I didn’t even enjoy sitting next to them in the movie” (Salinger 37.) | I thought Holden was the one who wanted Ackley to come along. Since he’d invited him to go see a movie and he knows that Ackley and Brossard just embarrass him, why didn’t he just stay in his dorm or go with someone else? | Chapter 6 “ Shut up, now, Holden,” he said with his big stupid red face. “Just shut up, now”….”Now, shut up, Holden, God damn it- I’m warning ya,” he said. “If you don’t shut up, I’m gonna slam ya one.”…..”Holden, God damn it, I’m warning you, now. For the last time. If you don’t keep your yap shut, I’m gonna-……. (Salinger 44.) | Holden and his roommate, Stradlater are fighting about the date with Jane. Holden started everything by calling Stradlater names and telling him how he doesn’t know how to treat ladies right. Holden is constantly warned that if he continues with his stupidity, he will get hurt bad, but Holden just continues on to annoy Stradlater. | Chapter 7“ Hey,” I said, “is it okay if I sleep in Ely’s bed tonight? He wont be back till tomorrow night, will he? …….”No, but for Chris sake, I cant just tell somebody they can sleep in his goddamn bed if they want to.” (Salinger 48.) | I think this request from Holden is very unreasonable, why would he ask Ackley to sleep in his roommate’s bed- that’s also disrespectful. What happened to his own bed? | Chapter 8“No, everybody’s fine at home,” I said. “It’s me. I have to have this operation.”…”Oh! I’m so sorry, “ she said. She really was, too. I was right away sorry I’d said it, but it was too late. “It isn’t very serious. I have this tiny little tumor on the brain” (Salinger 58.) | Holden is on the train with Mrs. Morrow, the mother of Ernest Morrow. Holden lies to her by saying that he’s going to be operated on. I think Holden should have just told her the whole truth, it’s not like they were going to ever meet again. | Chapter 9“ Would you care to stop on the way and join me for a cocktail? On me. I’m loaded.” (Salinger 60.) | Holden asked the cab driver if he wanted a cocktail at a very early time in the morning. First of all, Holden isn’t old enough to be drinking cocktails and second, the cab driver has a job to do, he can’t just park his cab somewhere just for a cocktail. I think Holden is very insane! | Chapter 10 “I and my girl friends saw peter Lorre last night,” she said.” The movie actor, In person he was buyin’ a newspaper. He’s cute.”… “Where you girls from?” I asked. She didn’t answer, though. She was busy looking around for old Peter Lorne to show up, I guess. “Where | Holden is dancing with a girl named Bernice. Bernice has showed Holden that she’s obviously not interested in him at all, but he just keeps coming back. Bernice has told him that” she’s twelve, but looks big for her age and he still wont leave her alone. He is becoming a creeper. She’s only trying to get him off her back, but he’s just | You girls from?” I asked her again.” What?” she said (Salinger 71 and 72.) | Not taking the hint. | Chapter 11“I don’t want you to get the idea she was a goddamn icicle or something, just because we never necked or horsed around much…. I held hands with her all the time, for instance. That doesn’t sound like much, I realize, but she was terrific to hold hands with…… Jane was different. We’d get into a goddamn movie or something, and right away we’d start holding hands, and we wouldn’t quit till the movie was over. (Salinger 79.) | Wow! It sounds like Holden really became close to Jane. That is a good thing considering the fact that he despises most of the people around him. He really gets along with her perfect, I think it’s great that he found someone he likes and someone that likes him back, someone he could really be himself with. | Chapter 12“ I listened to their conversation for a while, because I didn’t have anything to do. He was telling her about some pro football game he’d seem that afternoon. He gave her every single goddamn play in the whole game- I’m not kidding. He was the most boring guy I ever listened to. (Salinger 85.) | Holden is at a bar all by himself. He came thinking he could talk to girls and have a good time. While he was at the table, all he did was listen to other people’s conversations and judge them about everything. Holden seems to be a loner wherever he goes. I would feel sympathy towards him, but he just can’t handle himself around anybody- he always blows it. | Chapter 13 “Then I probably would’ve just stood there for about five minutes. I’d have the damn gloves right in my hand and all, but I’d feel I ought to sock the guy in the jaw or something- break his goddamn jaw. Only, I wouldn’t have the guts to do it.”(Salinger 89.) | Holden always thinks about starting arguments with people! Once he starts an argument with someone, it usually ends in a fight. Holden is the type of person who would only provoke fights, but you’ll never see him in one. He’s always the one that punks out during one. | Chapter 14“I like Jesus and all, but I don’t care too much for most of the other stuff in the bible. Take the disciples, for instance. They annoy the hell out of me, if you want to know the truth. (Salinger 99.) | I think Holden has gone too far with religion. If he doesn’t like Jesus or any of the saints, then he shouldn’t talk bad about them. There are people who care deeply about God so they’d be offended if they heard what Holden has said. I’m not gonna lie, I was also a little offended! | Chapter 15“Yes-who is this?” she said. She was quite a little phony. I’d already told her father who it was. “Holden Caufield. How are ya?” ”Holden! I’m fine! How are you?” Swell. Listen. How are ya, anyway? I mean how’s school?” (Salinger 106.) | Holden called one of his old friends Sally, but when I read this phone conversation, I couldn’t recall who Sally was. At first I thought he was talking to Jane since he’d wanted to call her up sometime also. | Chapter 16“Phoebe Caufield. She lives on seventy-first Street. She’s in the fourth grade, over at-“ “You know Phoebe?” “Yeah, I’m her brother. You know where she is?” Then a funny thing happened. When I got to the museum, …………… If Phoebe’d been there I probably would have, but she wasn’t. So all I did, in front of the museum, was get a cab and go down to the Biltmore. I didn’t feel much like going. I’d made that damn date with Sally, though (Salinger 118 and 122.) | Holden is asking a random girl if she knows Phoebe, if I were that girl, I wouldn’t even talk to Holden because he probably reeks of cigarettes and alcohol and after so many days with a shower. If Holden had found phoebe at the museum, what would he have told Sally. He was the one who’d made the plans to meet up with her, I feel like he would have stood her up. | Chapter 17You cant just do something like that, “Old Sally said. She sounded sore as hell. “Why not? Why the hell not?’ “Stop screaming at me please” she said. Which was crap, because I wasn’t even screaming at her. “Why cant cha? Why not?” “Because you can’t, that’s all. In the first place, were both practically children. And did you ever stop to think what you’d do if you didn’t get a job when your money ran out? We’d starve to death. The whole thing’s so fantastic, it isn’t even-“ (Salinger 132.) | I think Holden’s idea is very stupid! First of all, he said it himself-“I have about a hundred and eighty bucks in the bank, what would a-hundred eighty dollars do for him and Sally? It would be all gone within one or two days. Sally is trying to tell him that the idea would never work, but he’s just being really stubborn. Holden really needs to get his life back together. | Chapter 18“ I thought maybe I might give old Jane another buzz and see if she was home yet. I mean I had the whole evening free, and I thought I’d give her a buzz and, if she was home yet, take her dancing or something somewhere.” (Salinger 135.) | So all of the sudden Holden has forgotten all about Sally? What about how she felt about last night? Holden just calls up girls, disrespects them, and then walks away. I wonder what he’ll do to Jane. | | |

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Catcher in the Rye

...T he Catcher in the Rye is set around the 1950s and is narrated by a young man named Holden Caulfield. Holden is not specific about his location while he’s telling the story, but he makes it clear that he is undergoing treatment in a mental hospital or sanatorium. The events he narrates take place in the few days between the end of the fall school term and Christmas, when Holden is sixteen years old.As Holden goes out to the lobby, he starts to think about Jane Gallagher and, in a flashback, recounts how he got to know her. They met while spending a summer vacation in Maine, played golf and checkers, and held hands at the movies. One afternoon, during a game of checkers, her stepfather came onto the porch where they were playing, and when he left Jane began to cry. Holden had moved to sit beside her and kissed her all over her face, but she wouldn’t let him kiss her on the mouth. That was the closest they came to “necking.” Holden leaves the Edmont and takes a cab to Ernie’s jazz club in Greenwich Village. Again, he asks the cab driver where the ducks in Central Park go in the winter, and this cabbie is even more irritable than the first one. Holden sits alone at a table in Ernie’s and observes the other patrons with distaste. He runs into Lillian Simmons, one of his older brother’s former girlfriends, who invites him to sit with her and her date. Holden says he has to meet someone, leaves, and walks back to the Edmont. Maurice, the elevator operator at the Edmont, offers......

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