The Catcher in the Rye - Parma City School District

The Catcher in the Rye
Chapters 7-12
Hunting Hat
• I didn’t give a damn how I looked. Nobody was
around anyway,”
– Now wears it for protection from outside
– No one around to ridicule him
– Symbol of his self-consciousness
Holden’s Loneliness
• Conversation with Ernest Marrow’s mother
• Can’t communicate without lying
– “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
• Exaggerates
• Mrs. Morrow’s tone is maternal
• Holden speaks to her as an equal
• “Mothers are slightly insane,” (57).
– Lies to avoid disappointing her and to protect her
– Thinking of his own mom?
• “Mother’s aren’t too sharp about that stuff,”(57).
• Stuff—knowing who their sons really are
Holden’s Loneliness
Wants to call someone
20 min in phone booth
No one to reach out to
Accidentally gives home address
• Where he want to go but can’t
– “’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
Reaction vs. Questions
Not many people think about the ducks?
It is an odd question?
Is Holden being honest?
It is not a normal thought?
What is important to Holden is not important
to other people?
Intimacy verses Casual
• “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).
• Wants to share intimacy with a girl but maintain
respect for them
• Has regards their feelings and emotions
• Sees sex as “dirty” doesn’t understand it
Intimacy verses Casual
He is nervous and uncomfortable
Refers to the guests as perverts and screwballs
Uncomfortable and doesn’t understand sexuality
“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” (63).
Intimacy verses Casual
• Becomes sexually aroused and calls a stranger
• “
– Breaks his own sex rules
– Accidentally gives real name
– Declines the offer to meet her
– Indicates Holden’s immaturity and imbalance- his
• Change in diction, pretentious
Holden’s Loneliness
• Quest for Companionship
• Wants to call Phoebe
• A look into their relationship
– “You never saw a little kid so pretty and smart in
your whole life” (67).
– Red hair like Allie
– Person he can communicate with
– Compares her to himself
• Narcissistic = compliment to Phoebe
Holden’s Loneliness
• Sense of nostalgia
• “Hazel Weatherfield”
• “Wear white gloves and walk right between
[him and Allie], like a lady and all”
• “You’d like her and old Phoebe. I swear to god
you like her”
• Pleasant tone, wishes he could return to this
Holden’s Loneliness
Quest for Companionship
Lavender Room
Realizes he’s out of place
No one his age
ID by waiter
– “Also, there were very few people around my age
in the place. In fact, nobody was around my age”
• Resents adults but keeps trying to be one
Lack of Self-Awareness
• Refuses to acknowledge his behaviors or actions.
• Ridicules and critiques those around him.
• “The other two grools nearly had hysterics when
we did. I certainly must’ve been very hard up to
even bother with any of them” (70).
– Can’t accept societal norms and public values
• No fulfillment from the situation so manipulates
women for his amusement
Lack of Self-Awareness
• Lavender Room
• Refuse to serve him
• Girls mock and pity him
– “She kept asking me to call up my father and ask him what
he was doing tonight” (75).
• Holden calls them phonies
• He sees the situation from a skewed point of view
– Thinks he’s mature
• Needs to see his true self- confused and depressed kid
• Represents childhood and innocence
• Makes Holden happy
– Feels more than sexual towards her- wants to protect
her innocence
• “I really got to know her quite intimately. I don’t mean it
was anything physical or anything- it wasn’t…You don’t
always have to get too sexy to get to know a girl” (76).
• “I held hands with her all the time, for instance.
That doesn’t sound like much, I realize, but she
was terrific to hold hands with” (79).
• Indicates their close bond
• “She was the only one, outside of my family, that
I ever showed Allie’s mitt to” (77).
• Reveals an intense and intimate moment with her
• “Then, all of a sudden, this tear plopped down on the
checkerboard…I don’t know why, but it bothered the hell out
of me” (78-79).
• “The she really started to cry, and the next thing I
knew, I was kissing her all over- anywhere…” (79).
• Mirrors Holden’s situation and how he handles it
• “…I asked Jane what the hell was going on. She
wouldn’t even answer me, then. She made out
like she was concentrating on her next
– Holden won’t admit or turn to anyone for help
• May explain his preoccupation with Jane and
wanting to talk to her
• He wants to protect her
• “I think it’s because sometimes when he plays,
he sounds like the kind of guy that won’t talk
to you unless you’re a big shot.” (80)
– Assumption
– Holden makes this conclusion based on the way
Ernie plays the piano.
• Typical question by Holden, but a new piece of
• “I mean does somebody come around in a
truck or something and take them away, or do
they fly away by themselves—go south or
something?” (82)
• What is it that Holden is saying?
• Who is responsible for the well-being and
safety of the ducks?
• Other people?
• The ducks themselves?
• The cab driver
• Reaction
• “The fish don’t go no place. They stay right
where they are, the fish. Right in the … lake.”
• “It’s tougher for the fish, the winter and all,
than it is for the ducks…” (82)
• “If you was a fish, Mother Nature’d take care
of you, wouldn’t she? Right? You don’t think
them fish just die when it gets to be winter, do
ya?” (83)
• “They can’t just ignore the ice. They can’t just
ignore it.” (82)
• Symbolism of ice?
Holden’s Loneliness
• Desperate for companionship
• “Anyway, it made me feel depressed and lousy
again, and I damn near got my coat back and
went back to the hotel, but it was too early and I
didn’t feel much like being alone” (84).
• He’s alone- the one out of place
– Realizes it but doesn’t do anything about it
• “I certainly began to feel like a prize horse’s ass,
though, sitting there all by myself” (86).
• “In a funny way, though, I felt sort of sorry for
him when he was finished. I don’t even think
he knows any more when he’s playing right or
not. It isn’t all his fault. I partly blame all those
dopes that clap their heads off-they’d foul up
anybody, if you gave them a chance.” (84)
• Who truly do we feel sorry for?
• “if anybody gave them a chance?”
• Who gave him a chance?
• People are to blame
• “People are always ruining things for you.”