Dialectic Journal for Catcher in the Rye

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Entry One
Quote:
“... and all that David Copperfield kind of crap but I don’t feel like going through it if you want to know the truth... my parents would have about two hemorrhages a piece it I tell anything pretty personal about them.” (Page 1) Response:

This excerpt makes me very curious about his family members. The tone makes me believe that Holden probably is ashamed by them or he doesn’t like them when he describes them as “crap”. His parents’ attitude toward telling others personal stories is also confusing. It is not clear whether they are the ones inhibiting Holden from telling or not. I predict that Holden is reluctant when it comes to uncovering truths about his life. This quote is important because it gives me background information into Holden’s family life, as well as revealing a variety of characteristics of his personality. From this quote, I could tell that Holden does not have motivation to excel in school and he does not seem to care about getting kicked out. Being the teenager that he is, Holden does not realize the importance of education in his life, thus not caring about the severe consequences.

Entry Two
Quote:
“He said he talked to Jesus all the time, even when he was driving his car. That killed me. I can just see the big phony bastard shifting into first gear and asking Jesus to send him more shifts.” (Page 17) Response:

The quote made me really confused because I do not understand what Holden meant by shifting gear in this passage. However, now I understand that he does not like braggers and fakers. Also, Holden finds it irrational that these people dare to say they follow Jesus. I agree with him. If standing in a parking lot does not make you a car, then going to a church does not mean you are incredibly religious. This also seems to be one sign of Holden’s immaturity. It is very clear that when Holden starts to horse around, he puts an effort into annoying those surrounding him.

Entry Three
Quote:
“I didn’t care about not seeing the movie anyway... Besides, I’d been to the movies before with Auckly and Brossard.” (Page 37) Response:
This quote seems ironic to me in ways more than one. Holden normally hates watching movies because he thinks that actors are fake and phony. He also does not like Auckly that much. In this section of the book, Holden does not seem glum and miserable as usual because he is acting like a regular teenager would. Holden’s invitation to Auckly proves that he is caring and sensitive to Auckly’s emotions. He also knows that loneliness is the worst situation so he helps Auckly out of it at least for one night. I also feel as if Holden really did care about seeing the movie because of the tone evolved in his voice.

Entry Four
Quote:
“He got leukemia and died when we were up in Maine, on July 18, 1946. You’d have liked him. He was two years younger than I was, but he was about fifty times as intelligent. He was terrifically intelligent.” (Page 49) Response:

This quote seemed very significant to me. It informed me that Holden had a younger brother named Allie who died from Leukemia. It is extremely clear that when Holden thinks about Allie, all he thinks about is how amazing of a person Allie was. I get the feeling that Holden is very fond of his siblings and has developed a fantastic relationship with them over time, making the death of Allie a major impact on his life. Also, the way Holden seems to be acting in this scene in the book tells me that he has strong feelings for Jane. The way he is talking about Stradlater has a connotation of evilness and mystery as to why he is afraid about Jane. Holden used to be close friends with Jane and he knows things about her that is worrying him about the intimate relationship she might form with Stradlater.

Entry Five
Quote:
“I was right away sorry I’d said it, but it was too late.” (Page 75) Response:
In my perspective, Holden tells these lies because he is used to it, but every time in...
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