Holden Caulfield is the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye, and the most important function of these early chapters is to establish the basics of his personality.
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Chapters 1 2 Summary: Chapter 1 Holden Caulfield writes his story from a rest home to which he has been sent for therapy. He refuses to talk about his early life, ment ioning only that his brother D. B. is a Hollywood writer. He hints that he is bitter because D. B. has sold out to Hollywood, forsaking a career in serious literature for the wealth and fame of the movies. He then begins to tell the story of his breakdown, beginning with his departure from Pencey Prep, a famous school he attended in Agerstown, Pennsylvania. himself, and after failing four of his five subjects he passed only English he ha s been forbidden to return to the school after the fall term. The Saturday before Christmas vacation begins, Holden stands on Thomsen Hill overlooking the football field, where Pencey plays its annual grudge match against Saxon Hall. Holden has no interest equipment on the subway, forcing everyone to return early. after it grew dark outside. Holden walks away from the game to go say goodbye to Mr. Spencer, a former history teacher who is very old and ill wife greets Holden warmly, and he goes in to see his teacher. S ummary: Chapter 2

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Holden greets Mr. Spencer and his wife in a manner that suggests he is close to them. He is put off seems otherwise to respect him. In his sickroom, Spencer tries to lecture earn to play by the rules. Although Spencer clearly feels affection for Holden, he bluntly reminds the boy that he flunked him, and even forces him to listen to the terrible essay he handed in about the ancient Egyptians. Finally, Spencer tries to convince Holden to think about his future. Not wanting to be lectured, Holden interrupts Spencer and leaves, returning to his dorm room before dinner. Analysis: Chapters 1 2 Holden Caulfield is the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye, and the most important function of these early chapters is to establish the basics of his personality. From the beginning of the novel, Holden tells his story in a bitterly cynical voice. He refuses to discuss his early life, he says, because he is bored b that something catastrophic has happened in his life, acknowledging that to him around the previous Christmas, but he The particularities of his story are in keeping with his cynicism and his abruptly because he does not enjoy being confronted by his actions. Beneath the su emotional current. He begins the story of his last day at Pencey Prep by telling how he stood at the top of Thomsen Hill, preparing to leave the – He visits Spencer in chapters and throughout the book, is the hypocrisy and ugliness around

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him, which diminis h the innocence and beauty of the external world the sticking out of his pajamas. Salinger thus treats his narrator as more than a mere portrait of a cynical postwar rich kid at an i mpersonal and pressure – filled boarding school. Even in these early chapters, Holden connects with life on a very idealistic level; he seems to feel its flaws so deeply that he tries to shield himself with a veneer of cynicism. The Catcher in the Rye is in many ways a book about the betrayal of innocence by the modern world; despite his bitter tone, Holden is an innocent searching desperately for a way to connect with the world around him that will not cause him pain. In these early chapters, the reader alre ady begins to sense that Holden is not an entirely reliable narrator and that the reality of his situation is somehow different from the way he describes it. In part this is simply because Holden is a first – person narrator describing his own experiences fr om his own point limited. The reader never forgets for a moment who is telling this story, because the tone, grammar, and diction are consistently those of an adolescent albeit a highly intelligent and expressive one and every narrative contains inconsistencies that make us question what he says. For indictive and mean – – being. Holden seems to be looking for reasons not to listen to Spencer. Chapters 3 4 Summary: Chapter 3 Holden lives in Ossenburger Hall, which is named after a wealthy Pencey graduate who made a fortune in the discount funeral home business. In his Out of Africa while wearing his

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new hunting hat, a flamboyant red cap with a long peaked brim and earflaps. He is interrupted by Ackley, a pimply student who lives next door. According to Holden, Ackley is a supremely irritating classmate who constantly barges into the room, exhibits disgusting personal habits and poor hygiene, time with them. Ackley does not seem to have many friends. He prevents Holden from reading by puttering around the room and pestering him with annoying questions. Ackley further aggravates Holden by cutting his handsome and popular roommate, Stradlater, enters, Ackley, who hates Stradlater, quickly retur ns to his own room. Stradlater mentions that he has a date waiting for him but wants to shave. Summary: Chapter 4 Holden goes to the bathroom with Stradlater and talks to him while he whe reas Ackley is ugly and has poor dental hygiene, Stradlater is outwardly attractive but does not keep his razor or other toiletries clean. He The two joke around, then Stradlater asks Holden to write an English his own. Holden asks about the date and learns that Stradlater is taking out a girl Holden knows, Jane Gallagher. (Stradlater carelessly calls her vividly. He tells Stradlater that when she played checkers, she used to keep all of her kings in the back row because she liked the way they looked there. Stradlater is uninterested. Hol den is displeased that Stradlater, one of the few sexually experienced boys at Pencey, is taking Jane on a date. He wants to say hello to her while she waits for Stradlater, but decides he

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s – tooth jacket. After Stradlater leaves, Holden is tormented by thoughts of Jane and pimples until dinnertime. Analysis: Chapters 3 4 These chapters establish the way Holden interacts with his peers. Holden people whose surface beha vior distorts or disguises their inner feelings. Even his brother D. B. incurs his displeasure by accepting a big paycheck to write for the movies; Holden considers the movies to be the phoniest of the phony and emphasizes throughout the book the loathing he has for Hollywood. Unfortunately, Holden is surrounded by phonies in his circa – prep school. Preening Ackley and self – absorbed Stradlater act as his immediate contrasts. But, despite their flaws, he acts with basic kindness toward them, agreeing to writ even though Stradlater is out with Jane Gallagher, a girl Holden seems to care for very deeply. The pressure of adolescent sexuality an important theme throughout The Catcher in the Rye makes itself felt here for the advances toward Jane. Stradlater and Ackley sound like appallingly unsympathetic characters, but this is completely the result of the tone in which Hold en describes them. For instance, Holden indicates his awareness that Ackley behaves in annoying ways because he is insecure and unpopular, but instead of trying to imagine what Ackley wants or why he does things, he focuses on literally, h nail trimming and pimple squeezing, Holden makes him seem disgusting and subhuman.

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Holden guys not at the football game. Both a re isolated, and both maintain a bitter, critical exterior in order to shield themselves from the world that assaults isolation is perpetuated by his annoying habits, but his ann oying habits are what he needs and fears most. s very important to him. Throughout the novel, it serves as a kind of protective device, which Holden uses for more than physical warmth and comfort. When he wears the hat, he always claims not to care what people think about his appearance, which might be a source of self – conscious embarrassment for Holden he is extremely tall for his age, very thin, and, though he is only sixteen, has a great deal of gray hair. But it is also important to note when Holden does not wear the hat. Part of him seems to want t o display his rebelliousness, but another part of him wants to fit in or, at least, to hide his unique personality. Although he mentions the freezing temperature, house; he waits for the p rivacy of his own room to put it on. Chapters 5 6 Summary: Chapter 5 After a dry and unappetizing steak dinner in the dining hall, Holden gets into a snowball figh t with some of the other Pencey boys. He and his friend Mal Brossard decide to take a bus into Agerstown to see a movie though Holden hates movies and Holden convinces Mal to let Ackley go with them. As it turns out, Ackley and Brossard have already seen t he film, so

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insults him some more, and Stradlater finally leaves the room. Holden gets Analysis: Chapters 5 6 rise after the disdain that Holden has displayed for him in the previous two chapters. Though he continues to complain about Ackley, the sympathy he feels for his next – door neighbor is evident when he convinces Mal Brossard to let Ackley join them at the m actions are inconsistent with his opinions, but instead of making him seem like a hypocrite, this makes him more likable: he is kind to Ackley without commenting on it, and he shows himself capable of going to the movies with his friends like a normal teenager. The most important revelation in these chapters comes about when Holden writes the composition for Stradlater, divulging that his brother Allie died of leukemia several years before. Holden idealizes Allie, praising his intelligence and sensitivity the poe m — covered baseball glove is a perfect emblem for both but remaining silent about his emotional reaction to ows windows as well, but could not because his hand was already fractured from smashing the garage windows. Throughout the novel, it becomes one of the most traumatic psychological breakdown. Indeed, the cynicism that Holden uses to avoid Holden seems to feel increasing pressure as he moves toward leaving school, and

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moment alone; Ackley continues to barge in with his made – up sex stories, and when Holden writes the very personal composition about his brother Allie, Stradlater criticizes it and then taunts Holden about Jane. When Holden finally snaps and attacks his roommate, Stradlater easily is so unpleasant that Holden cann ot relax. He leaves abruptly, as though trying to escape the torment of his environment. What Holden does not yet realize, however, is that he carries his torment with him, inside himself . Chapters 7 9 Summary: Chapter 7 Holden talks for a whi le with Ackley and then tries to fall asleep in the bed cannot stop imagining Jane fooling around with Stradlater, and he has trouble falling asleep. He wakes Ackley and talks with him som e more, asking whether he could run off and join a monastery without being Catholic. Ackley is annoyed by the conversation, and Holden is annoyed by decides that he will leave for New Y ork that night instead of waiting until Wednesday. After passing a few days there in secret, he will wait until his parents have digested the news of his expulsion before he returns to their apartment. He packs his bags, dons his hunting hat, and begins to cry. As his floor before stepping outside to leave Pencey forever. Summary: Chapter 8 Holden walks the entire way to the train station and catches a late train to New York. At Tr enton, an attractive older woman gets on and sits next to him. She turns out to be the mother of his classmate, Ernest Morrow. He dislikes Ernest immensely but tells extravagant lies about him to his mother, claiming that he is the most popular boy on camp us and would

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Holden tells her his own name is Rudolph Schmidt, which is actually the Holden claims to be returni ng to New York for a brain tumor operation. Summary: Chapter 9 At Penn Station, Holden wants to call someone but cannot think of anyone to call his brother, D. B., is in Hollywood; his sister, Phoebe , is young and girl, Sally Hayes, has a mother who hates him. So, Holden takes a cab to the Edmont Hotel. He tries to make conversation with the driver, asking him where the ducks in the Central Park lagoon go in the winter, but the driver is uninterested. In his room at the Edmont, he looks out across the hotel courtyard into the lighted windows on the other side and discovers a variety of bizarre acts taking place. One man dresses i another room a man and a woman take turns spitting mouthfuls of their Faith Cavendish, a promiscuous girl recommended to him by a boy he met at a party, an d tries to make a date with her. She refuses, claiming she needs her beauty sleep. She offers to meet him the next day, but he her. Analysis: Chapters 7 9 The Catcher in the Rye is a chronicle of Holden Caulfield breakdown, but Holden never comments on it directly. At no point in the story does he say that he is undergoing an emotional strain ; he simply describes his increasingly desperate behavior without much explanation. there is more to the story than what Holden admits or describes. In the previous sections, Hol den exhibited a number of behaviors that might attacking Stradlater for joking about Jane, leaving his dorm foreve r in the

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middle of the night, and yelling an insult down the hallway on his way out. implication that he is not well mentally or emotionally. As soon as he gets off the train in Ne w York in Chapter 9, Holden wants to call someone and seems especially to want to call Jane, but he is through a long list of people he could contact instead). This seems particu people; in Chapter 8, for instance, he describes enjoying the solitude of late – night train rides. His desire for human contact becomes even more intense as the section progresses: he begins to feel sexually aroused and tries to make a date with a stranger whose number he was given at a party, in this section and throughout the novel, is a mark of immaturity and imba lance. As soon as he meets Mrs. Morrow on the train, Holden begins telling ridiculous lies, claiming to be named Rudolph Schmidt and to be going to New York for a brain tumor operation. He feels guilty for lying, but the only way he can stop is to stop tal king altogether. There is no particular rhyme or reason for the lies he tells Mrs. Morrow his intentions toward her may be kind, or cruel, or simply careless. What does seem clear is that he lies to deflect attention from himself and what he is doing. In his reactions to the other guests in the hotel, whom he refer s to as toward what makes him uncomfortable about sexuality. He admits that he across the courtyard seems to be having fun. But he thinks that people behavior such as this seems disrespectful. What bothers him is his perception that sexual attraction can be separate from respect and intimacy, and that sex can be casual or kinky. He knows this from his own

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