Top-Rated Free Essay

Catcher in the Rye Summer Reading Analysis

Satisfactory Essays
Chris Senese
11 Honors English
Catcher in the Rye Summer Homework

Chapter 1:
Important passage:
"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth." (1).

Speaker:
Holden Claufield

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
In this chapter, the reader gets the first glimpse of how he sees the world. This is also where the reader learns about Holden's carreer in Pencey Prep school. Holden explains his relationship with his parents and how he has grown distant from them.

Question:
Why doesn't Holden just suck it up and try a tiny bit? He could succeed if he had more of a opptomistic attitude, why does he refuse himself this attitude?

Chapter 2:
Important passage:
"I'm just going through a phase right now. Everybody goes through phases and all, don't they?" (15).

Speaker:
Holden Claufield

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
This chapter introduces Mr. Spencer, who seems to be the only person that Holden likes at this point. Mr. Spencer tells him that life is a game and Holden must learn to play by its rules. But Holden, refuses this in his mind and makes up an excuse to leave. This made me believe that if Holden won't accept this simple fact, then he might be hopeless.

Question:
Why doesn't Holden take Mr. Spencer's advice to heart, he obviously respects him?

Chapter 3:
Important passage:
"He was looking at this picture of this girl I used to go around with in New York, Sall Hayes.

Speaker:
Holden Claufield

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
In this Chapter, the reader is intrduced to Ackley. You also learn of what happens with him managing the fencing team. As Ackley is introduced, you begin to see why Holden hates the school and the people in it.

Question:
Instead of Hinting Ackley to leave, why doesn't Holden force him out of his dorm?

Chapter 4
Important passage:
"'Jane Gallagher,' I said. I even got up from the washbowl when he said that. I damn near dropped dead." (31).

Speaker:
Holden Claufield

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
We learn more about Stradlater and Holden compares Stradlater to Ackley. We also learn of Jane Gallagher and how they had a relationship, but now Stradlater has a date with her, this makes Holden angry and sad.

Question:
Holden continues to list the things that he hates in this chapter and it seems he hates everything. He can't possibly hate everything, he is just telling himself he hates everything, why doesn't he stop self destructing?

Chapter 5:
Important passage:
"I started to throw it. At a car that was parked across the street. But I changed my mind. The car looked so nice and white. Then I started to throw it at a hydrant, but that looked to nice and white."

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
In this chapter, we learn about Allie, Holden's little sister who died of leukemia. Holden still feels strongly for her and this could be the reason for the meloncholy way that he is.

Question:
Is Holden suffering from a mental illness?

Chapter 6:
Important passage:
"You never saw such gore in your life....It partly scared me and it partly fascinated me. All that blood and all sort of made me look tough. I'd only been in about two fights in my life, and I lost both of them. I'm not too tough. I'm a pacifist, if you want to know the truth." (45-46). Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
When Stradlater comes back, he tells Holden that his composition about Allie was bad and it had nothing to do with the assignment. Considering that this was a very personal thing with Holden, this made him very hostile towards Stradlater. Holden asked Stradlater about his date and Stradlater wouldn't tell him, this made Holden even more angry.

Question:
Why doesn't Holden use more than violence to convey his emotions?

Chapter 7:
Important passage:
"When I was all set to go, when I had my bags and all, I stood for a while next to the stairs and took a last look down the goddam corridor. I was sort of crying. I don't know why. I put my red hunting hat on, and turned the peak around to the back, the way I liked it, and then I yelled at the top of my goddam voice, 'Sleep tight, ya morons!'" (52).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
In this chapter, Holden decides, after not being able to fall asleep, to leave that night. He crys as he is leaving Pencey. Holden’s frantic loneliness and constant lying further the implication that he is not well mentally or emotionally.

Question:
Why haven't his parents seen this in him instead of just sending him off to all these prep schools?

Chapter 8:
Important passage:
"Then I started reading this timetable I had in my pocket. Just to stop lying. Once I get started, I can go on for hours if I feel like it. No kidding. Hours." (58).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
Holden has a conversation with one of his classmates mother. He tells her lies about her son being the most popular kid in school and school president. He even lies about his name and why he is leaving early. This further shows his inability to tell the truth that he explained previously in the book.

Question:
Why does he continue to lie even though he hates this mother's son? He could tell her what he thinks and get back; and yet, he makes her feel better and less stress even if she is going to be a little dissapointed. He seems to have some good in him, why doesn't he let it out more?

Chapter 9:
Important passage:
"Sometimes I can think of very crumby stuff I wouldn't mind doing if the opportunity came up. I can even see how it might be quite a lot of fun, in a crumby way, and if you were both sort of drunk and all, to get a girl and squirt water or something all over each other's face. The thing is, though, I don't like the idea. It stinks, if you analyze it."(62).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
Holden decides to stay in a hotel in New York and sees other guests engaging sexually. In Holden's reactions to the other guests in the hotel, whom he refers to as “perverts,” Holden reveals a great deal about his attitudes toward sex and toward what makes him uncomfortable about sexuality.

Question:
Why is he so sexually awkward?

Chapter 10:
Important passage:
That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. Girls. Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can.

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
Despite his independent nature, Holden demonstrates how badly he needs companionship. In these chapters especially, his thoughts are always of other people. He thinks about Phoebe, he repeatedly remembers Jane.

Question:
This further beggs, the question of his mental illness and sociopathic nature.(yes its a question)

Chapter 11:
Important passage:
"I hate fist fights. I don't mind getting hit so much - although I'm not crazy about it, naturally - but what scares me most in a fist fight is the guy's face. I can't stand looking at the other guy's face, is my trouble. It wouldn't be so bad if you could both be blindfolded or something. It's a funny kind of yellowness, when you come to think of it, but it's yellowness, all right. I'm not kidding myself." (90).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Signfificance:
Holden decides that it is time to leave the hotel. As he walks out to the lobby, Holden starts to remember about Jane. His memories of Jane are especially touching because he describes a very deep emotional connection.

Question:
Why does, even though he seems to not be around his parents or a lot of people his age, when he is alone, all he wants is a companion? When he has one, he pushes them away, why not stay?

Chapter 12:
Important passage:
"He had a big damn mirror in front of the piano, with this big spotlight on him, so that everybody could watch his face while he played. You couldn't see his fingers while her played--just his big old face. Big deal. I'm not too sure what the name of the song was that he was playing when I came in, but whatever it was, he was really stinking it up. He was putting all these dumb, show-offy ripples in the high notes, and a lot of other very tricky stuff that gives me a pain in the ass. You should've heard the crowd though, when he was finished. you would have puked." (84).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
When he enters the Lavender Room, he depicts himself as a wise-beyond-his-years, debonair playboy. But because the waiter refuses to serve him alcohol, and because the girls laugh at his advances, we doubt that Holden’s self-description is accurate.

Question:
Why does he hit on the girls, they are much too old for him?

Chapter 13:
Important passage:
"She was a pretty spooky kid. Even with that little bitty voice she had, she could sort of scare you a little bit. If she'd been a big old prostitute, with a lot of makeup on her face and all, she wouldn't have been half as spooky." (98).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
Holden orders a prostitute because he is lonely and then when he is approached sexually, he turns her down, continueing to show his awkwardness with sex. Earlier in the book, he convected his thought towards random sex as being just fake and devoid of emotion. What he really wants is Jane.

Question:
Why even after attempting to pay the prostitute, she didn't want to leave it?

Chapter 14:
Important passage:
"In the first place, I'm sort of an atheist. 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. They were all right after Jesus was dead and all, but while He was alive, they were about as much use to Him as a hole in the head. All they did was keep letting Him down. I like almost anybody in the Bible better than the Disciples. If you want to know the truth, the guy I like best in the Bible, next to Jesus, was that lunatic and all, that lived in the tombs and kept cutting himself with stones. I like him ten times as much as the Disciples, that poor bastard." (99).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
Holden reveals what he thinks of organized religion. As I get farther along in the story, I continue to see that Holden may be in fact, mentally unstable.

Question:
Why is the person who is the favorite in the bible the person who seems to be mentally unstable?

Chapter 15:
Important passage:
"Everything I had was bourgeois as hell. Even my fountain pen was bourgeois. He borrowed it off me all the time, but it was bourgeois anyway."(108).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
Holden makes a date with Sally Hayes, a girl he used to know. after he leaves the hotel, he starts to reminice about his parents. He worries that the news of his expulsion will particularly distress his fragile mother, for whom he seems to care a great deal.

Question:
Holden also gives money to some nuns, even after he reveals his ideas of organized religion, why did he do that?

Chapter 16:
Important passage:
"Certain things they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone. I know that's impossible, but it's too bad anyway." (122).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
Holden is walking on the street and hears a little boy singing “If a body catch a body coming through the rye.” This cheers him up quite a bit. This is his favorite poem, even though, he missunderstands the poem, he still takes meaning from it, which seems to be the only thing in the world that he has an affinity other than his sister, mother or Jane.

Question:
This is a somewhat uplifting chapter for Holden, why, even though he has been told he missunderstands the quote, does he still gets joy from it?

Chapter 17:
Important passage:
"Take most people, they're crazy about cars. They worry if they get a little scratch on them, and they're always talking about how many miles they get to a gallon, and if they get a brand-new car already they start thinking about trading it in for one that's even newer. I don't even like old cars. I mean they don't even interest me. I'd rather have a goddam horse. A horse is at least human, for God's sake."(131).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
Holden takes Sally out on a date and it seems like he is having a good time, he is checking her out and finding her attractive. This is until they sit down after ice skating, he starts to rant and his pitch fluctuates as he talks about phonies. He eventually asks Sally to run away with him, but she refuses, this makes him even more agitated, which causes him to tell her she is a "pain in the ass". She starts crying so he leaves.

Question:
Holden is becomeing more and more apparently insane, but is this because of loneliness or an actual mental illness?

Chapter 18:
Important passage:
"The trouble with girls is, if they like a boy, no matter how big a bastard he is, they'll say he has an inferiority complex, and if they don't like him, no matter how nice a guy he is, or how big an inferiority complex he has, they'll say he's conceited. Even smart girls do it."(136).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
Holden’s off-kilter ramblings in Chapter 18 about being killed by an atom bomb sound like a frightened, threatened boy.

Question:
Or is Holden simply depressed?

Chapter 19:
Important passage:
"The funny thing about old Luce, I used to think he was sort of flitty himself in a way."(143).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
Holden appears to be even more unconfortable with homosexuality than normal sexuality. This is apparent when he tells about how he considers old Luce a littly "flitty".

Question:
Luce is not actually gay, but when they start talking about sex, why does Holden seem to not want to be in the conversation?

Chapter 20:
Important passage:
"Then finally, I found it. What it was, it was partly frozen and partly not frozen. But I didn't see a single duck. i thought maybe if there were any around, they might be asleep or something near the edge of the water, near the grass and all. thant's how I nearly fell in. But I couldn't find any"(154).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance: Holden leaves the bar and goes to find the pond. Holden’s curiosity about the ducks also demonstrates an childlike quality: his willingness to pay attention to details that are normally ignored.

Question:
In this part, I am really questioning the logic of the story itself, If Holden fell in the half frozen pond, why isn't he dead?

Chapter 21:
Important passage:
"Old Phoebe didn't even wake up. When the light was on and all, I sort of looked at her for a while. She was laying there asleep, with her face sort of on the side of the pillow. You take adults, they look lousy when they're asleep, but kids don't. Kids look all right. They can even spit all over the pillow and they still look all right."(159).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
Holden says adults look lousy when they are sleeping as opposed to childeren, this shows more of where he relates to. In the same way, is why he is so close to Pheobe.

Question: While Holden goes through Pheobe's journal, he sees that their parents are not around too much, where are they?

Chapter 22:
Important passage:
"'Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all."(173).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
One of the most important passages in the novel comes when Holden tells Phoebe he would like to be the catcher in the rye, saving little children from falling off the cliff. The rye field is a symbol of childhood—the rye is so high that the children cannot see over it, just as children are unable to see beyond the borders of their childhood.

Question:
When Pheobe accuses him of hating everything, and telling him to name one thing he likes, he can't think of anything but Allie. Is Allie's death the cause of his depression?

Chapter 23:
Important passage:
"Then I took my hunting hat out of my coat pocket and I gave it to her"(180)

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
Holden gave Pheobe his hunting hat. The way I see it, he is leaving behind the last thing that he had carried with him throughout his journey except for his emotions, it is in a way, a fresh start.

Question: Aren't his parents going to look for him if he runs away?

Chapter 24:
Important passage:
"I don't hate too many guys. What I may do, I may hate them for a little while, like this guy Stradlater I knew at Pencey, and this other boy, Robert Ackley. I hated them once in a while — I admit it — but it doesn't last too long, is what I mean. After a while, if I didn't see them, if they didn't come in the room, or if I didn't see them in the dining room for a couple of meals, I sort of missed them. I mean I sort of missed them."(187).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
After some prodding from Mr. Antolini saying that Holden will be prey to a "fall" based on his hatred towards the other boys, Holden says that he does not hate them as much. It seems that as he is going toward the end here, he is thinking back and realiseing that things aren't always as bad as he perceives them to be.

Question: In this chapter, Holden confuses the help from Mr. Antolini with homosexual advances, why does Holden think so many things are a homosexual advances?

Chapter 25:
Important passage:
"I kept walking and walking up Fifth Avenue, without any tie on or anything. Then all of a sudden, something very spooky started happening. Every time I came to the end of a block and stepped off the goddam curb, I had this feeling that I'd never get to the other side of the street. I thought I'd just go down, down, down, and nobody'd ever see me again." (197).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance:
Holden’s breakdown reaches its climax in Chapter 25. As the chapter begins, Holden feels surrounded on all sides by ugliness and phoniness—the profanity on the walls, the vulgar Christmas-tree delivery men, the empty pomp of Christmas—and his recent interactions with Phoebe and Mr. Antolini have left him feeling completely lonely and alienated.

Question:
Holden obviously has something physically and mentally wrong with him, why has noone else seen this before?

Chapter 26:
Important passage:
"Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you might start missing everybody" (214).

Speaker:
Holden

Audience:
The reader

Significance: He still seems scared and alone, and he continues to dread communication. On the other hand, his final words suggest that he has begun to shed the impenetrable skin of cynicism that he had grown around himself. He has begun to value, rather than dismiss, the people around him.

Question:
Where is Holden?

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Satisfactory Essays

    Summer Reading Essay – The Catcher in the Rye The author of The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, did not fulfill his obligation to me of lifting my heart and reminding me of human glories. It was difficult to be uplifted by this book because the author made Holden, the protagonist, suffer through various adversities such as being kicked out of four private schools and even losing a brother through Leukemia. Each hardship that Holden faces adds a reason to why Holden and his actions do not exemplify…

    • 418 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Catcher in the Rye – Analysis and Summary Name of the book: The Catcher in the Rye Writer: J. D. Salinger. His complete name is Jerome David Salinger, and he was born the first day of 1919 in Manhattan, New York. He started writing early in secondary school, and he had published several stories before getting interrupted by the Second World War in 1940. In 1951 he published his most successful, and only, novel The Catcher in the Rye that became an immediate success among its readers…

    • 2466 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Catcher in the Rye Analysis Catcher in the Rye takes place in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, written in 1951 by J.D. Salinger. Salinger implores the reader to struggle alongside Holden Caulfield as protagonist and reader simultaneously explore the boundaries and meanings of childhood, innocence, and the duality of these two identities existing in tandem. Salinger has written Catcher in the Rye to preserve the struggle to find oneself, and the denial of one's growth, through loss, experience…

    • 538 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Raye Cheng Catcher in the Rye Summer Reading July 17, 2015 1. Holden Caulfield, the main character in the novel The Catcher in the Rye, despises phonies, people depicted as corrupt and hypocritical characters, and though Holden appear to not be a phony, there are instances when he definitely does seem to be one. Holden loathes phonies for their hypocritical and superficial personalities, which he thinks is evident in almost all adults. He explains his hatred for these people…

    • 1463 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Catcher In The Rye Essay Throughout the book, The Catcher In the Rye, the theme that I saw reoccurring in the novel was the painfulness of growing up. In the book there are many cases of Holden Caulfield trying to resist growing. He does not want to grow up because he’s afraid of the unknown, or what’s coming next in his life. In fact his main goal is to resist maturing. He is scared of the unknown and cannot handle things that are very complicated. He likes it when things are very simple…

    • 512 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    discovering new worlds, which are extrapolated in William Shakespeare's 1661 tragicomedy ‘The Tempest and J.D. Salinger’s ‘Catcher in the Rye’ (1951). Shakespeare’s‘ The Tempest’, elucidates the transformative power of planned discoveries that manifest an individual's desire to re-evaluate assumptions and unveil fresh insights into humanity’s moral flaws. Similarly, The Catcher in the Rye’ demonstrates that physical and intellectual discoveries can elicit an emotional…

    • 871 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The quote comes from J.D. Salinger's THE CATCHER IN THE RYE when Holden runs away from Pencey Prep and attends a bar where he tries to flirt with three older women, who fail to take him seriously. Through subtext, Salinger describes society lashing out at the people they desire to connect with because they ignored them, much like how the three women, full grown adults, ignore Holden's advances, who is a child in their eyes. When Holden notices that he is being ignored, it hurts his feelings, as can…

    • 313 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Caulfield from The Catcher In The Rye, however, does not quite understand this saying. In the story, Holden does not apply himself to his education at Pencey Prep, which results in his expulsion from school. Throughout the story, Holden, as well as a few other characters, represent the terms expressed in Freud’s Theory of Personality known as the id, superego, and ego. According to Freud, the id operates on the pleasure principle and serves as the storage area for our desires. In The Catcher…

    • 774 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Catcher in the Rye

    • 9055 Words
    • 37 Pages

    The Catcher in the Rye Maggie Michaels, Benson High School Keith Higbee, Wilson High School Amy Botula, Wilson High School Tammy Lite-O’Neill, Wilson High School 2007 DRAFT PPS Funding Table of Contents Introduction 1 Calendar 3 Criteria and Standards Table 4 Parent Opt-Out Letter 5 Journals 6 Pre-Reading: Teens Reflecting on the Teen Experience 9 Teens Overhead 10…

    • 9055 Words
    • 37 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Catcher in the Rye Essay Alienation is one of humanity’s greatest fears. No one wants to feel isolated and alone, unless of course alienation is the best way to protect one’s self. When you lose something you have allowed yourself to love, it is only natural to become aware of the risks that affection and care bring with them. Holden Caulfield is no exception. After losing his younger brother, Allie, to leukemia 3 years prior, Holden, a 16-year-old academic dropout, has successfully isolated himself…

    • 1577 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays