Holden further defends Stradlater, claiming that he is conceited but generous. Holden walks to the zoo, with an angry Phoebe on the other side of the street. Although similarities to Salinger's life occasionally occur throughout The Catcher in the Rye, as readers we should be careful about biographical interpretations. The one value that he tends to espouse is authenticity, but he has no concrete definition of what this entails. Holden elaborates on his family history, recounting how his brother Allie died of leukemia. He takes us back to a year ago, on his last day at his private Prep School; Pencey. He hardly ever listened to you when you said something.
The details in the first chapter already indicate that he has pursued an aimless, self-destructive path. He has time to kill, so he goes to a cafe for breakfast, where he sits next to two nuns. Not wanting to be lectured, Holden interrupts Spencer and leaves, returning to his dorm room before dinner. Holden continues to behave erratically throughout the chapter. He delivers a letter to Phoebe at school, asking her to meet him, so he can say good bye and give her some Christmas money. Spencer eventually surprises Holden by asking him to bring his end-of-term history essay, which Mr. Holden gives them 10 dollars.
Holden's background is sufficiently privileged that he mentions the absence of servants to open the doors to visitors. Get the latest updates: Facebook: Twitter:. First, Holden is careless and sometimes irresponsible. Holden tells his story starting in the afternoon, on a Saturday in December. Later, Holden decides to write the composition about a baseball mitt full of poems that belonged to his brother, Allie, before he died of leukemia.
Ackley returns, and Holden is actually glad to see him, for he takes his mind off of Jane Gallagher. Even though he failed history with an abysmal performance, Holden does not blame the instructor. Spencer through Holden's cynical yet affectionate lenses, and meet Ackley and Stradlater, classmates who are also described in very negative though somewhat humorous terms. Spencer's ratty old bathrobe, his habit of picking his nose, and wonders why the guy even goes on living! The book follows teenage protagonist Holden Caulfield as he recounts the events of his Christmas break. Holden's story, in the form of a long flashback, begins around 3 p. Holden, Ackley, and another friend, Brossard, all go out to the movies but end up eating burgers instead.
Holden begins to daydream about where the ducks in Central Park go for the winter when the lake freezes over. Holden gets angry because Stradlater refuses to give any details of his date. Worst is the reading aloud of Holden's final exam from Spencer's history class. In short, the people there were phonies. Holden has been expelled from Pencey Prep because he has flunked four subjects passing only English , including Mr. Overall, Holden is an unreliable narrator whose conceptions of the characters reveal his particular point of view.
Whether giving away a tie or strutting around the dormitory in a state of undress, he performs these actions to show what he possesses. Download the free study guide and infographic for J. This is the first of several instances when Holden feels he is losing himself or falling into an abyss. He wonders how they suddenly vanish in the winter and where they go. This red hunting cap is featured throughout the novel and is significant in that it represents Holden's unique rebel spirit.
This reluctance to grow up leaves him isolated. He sympathizes with the parents at Elkton Hills who were not attractive or fashionable and were objects of Haas' disdain. In the first quote, Holden complains about not being heard, but in the second quote, which comes just minutes later in the story, he discusses how he chooses to block out Mr. He decides he has to leave at once and makes up an excuse that he has to go get something. He also mentions his brother, D. This is a recurring theme throughout the novel. Spencer by agreeing with him.
Buuut… our narrator doesn't feel like watching the game shock! She is the mother of a snobby, annoying kid at Pencey, but Holden lies saying he was the most popular kid in school. We might suspect, also, that Holden feels uncomfortable when he sees some truth in Spencer's statements. He wants to see Phoebe and goes to the skate park where she sometimes goes on Sundays. Spencer, for what he thinks is a final goodbye. He hangs around Holden's room picking up his stuff and putting it back in the wrong place. He lectures Spencer on the need to do something with his life.
Beneath the cynical self-absorption, Holden may be a talented and intelligent writer who fails to apply himself to tasks. Luce, who attends Columbia University, used to tell the younger kids at the Whooten School about sex. The theme of Holden's favorite D. Want to hear some thoughts about his name? At the end of the chapter, Holden arrives at Mr. Although he oddly respects the academic standards of Pencey, he sees it as phony, if not evil.
He hints that he is bitter because D. He refuses to talk about his early life, mentioning only that his brother D. Holden immediately rejects the idea that the events that he describes in the novel consist of his life story or that this story is indicative of any larger message. Holden is inwardly critical of everyone, including himself, yet acts with kindness. Holden is extremely tired, but listens to Mr. Ackley is ostentatiously boorish; in appearance and in manners he is disgusting and oblivious to all social graces. He decides to visit his history teacher, Mr.