The Catcher in the Rye - Parma City School District

The Catcher in the Rye
Chapters 7-9
Holden’s Loneliness
• Never directly comments on his breakdown
• There is more to the story than Holden indicates
• Exhibits desperate behaviors
– “I never discussed my personal life with him” (47)
– Only mentions his behavior, no explanation for it
• Seeks companionship from Ackley
• Has no one to turn to
– “I got to feeling so lonesome and rotten…” (50)
– “I just didn’t want to hang around anymore. It made me too sad
and lonesome” (51)
Jane Gallagher
Holden’s preoccupation with her
Can’t stand her with Stradlater
– “I kept laying there in the dark anyway,
though, trying not to think about old Jane and
Stradlater in that goddamn Ed Banky’s car.
But it was impossible” (49)
She represents the past Holden wants to
return to
Wants to call her but doesn’t
Holden’s Departure
• “I was sort of crying. I don’t know why. I
put on my red hunting hat on, and turned
the peak around to the back, the way I
liked it, and I yelled at the top of my
goddamn voice, ‘Sleep tight, ya morons!’”
– Leaves crying in the middle of the night
– Random, wearing hat, crying and screaming
• manic
Holden and Sex
• Holden’s inability to understand women
– “Women kill me. They really do. I don’t mean
I’m oversexed or anything like that- although I
am quite sexy” (54).
• Thinks he can flirt with Mrs. Morrow
– ridiculous, not reality
– immature, pretends he’s older
Holden’s Loneliness
Conversation with Ernest Marrow’s mother
Can’t communicate without lying
fake name
makes excuses
» “”I probably would’ve told her what really happened, but
it would have taken too long” (56).
“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”
Lies to hide from reality
How great her son is to avoid talking about himself
Holden’s Loneliness
• Wants to call someone
– No one to reach out to
• Accidentally gives home address
– realizes nowhere to go
• “’You know those ducks in that lagoon right
near Central Park South? That little lake?
By any chance, do you happen to know
where they go, the ducks, when it freezes
over?” (60).
– Digresses
– Compassion
Holden’s Loneliness
• Desperate for interaction
• Asks wrong people
– “’Would you care to stop on the way and join
me for a cocktail?’” (60).
• Edmont Hotel
• “I think if you don’t really like a girl, you shouldn’t
horse around with her at all, and if you do like
her, then you’re supposed to like her face, you
ought to be careful about doing crumby stuff to
it, like squirting water all over it. It’s really too
bad that so much crumby stuff is a lot of fun
sometimes” (62).
– Intimacy versus casual
– Wants to share intimacy with a girl
– Sees sex as “dirty” doesn’t understand it
• only sees the vulgar (transvestite, water squirting) perverts,
morons, screwballs
• He is nervous and uncomfortable
• Uncomfortable and doesn’t understand
– “Sex is something I really don’t understand
too hot. You never know where the hell you
are. I keep making up these sex rules for
myself, and then I break them right away”
Holden’s Loneliness/Sex
• Becomes sexually aroused and calls a
– Faith Cavendish
– Calls middle of night, random girl
• doesn’t realize the absurdity
• “I said it suave as hell” (64).
– Declines the offer to meet her, won’t take the
– Indicates Holden’s immaturity and imbalancehis inconsistency