Holden- The Catcher in the Rye



Holden- The Catcher in the Rye

Holden Caulfield starts this story by telling us the reader who he is. He however starts it withy an attitude. From his tone, we can see that he is a person who is full of himself. He says things such as, “I know you’ll want to know where I was born” yet nobody asked him, he was the one who offered. The whole book is about his experience after he was expelled from Prep School some time after Christmas. We are introduced to his brother D.B, who is a writer by profession. He is a guy who enjoys living life. Life with and around girls and also part of the fencing team. He even admired the head teacher’s daughter. He begins his narration as he describes the school and the people in the school. He was at Pencey, which he says does not give all the fancy stuff that he says they put in the magazines. It was a Saturday and he did not feel like watching the game so he decided to sit and watch the crowd as he helped us understand what the crowd is comprised of. He’s also on a mission to say good-bye to Mr. Spencer who is his history teacher. He has just been expelled. He provides that ‘they gave people the ax frequently at Pencey’.

He was out freezing and he had not worn something warm. He only had on a reversible and no gloves. He says that his coat had just been stolen in his room the week before. We can understand that the school was high-end and a number of students were from the wealthy families but it also had crooks. He flashbacks to the time when he used to enjoy playing football with his friend’s Robert Tichener and Paul Campbell, in front of the academic building. They could play before dinner until it got dark.Holden- The Catcher in the Rye

He then hurriedly went to Mrs. Spencer’s place and luckily, she was in which saved him from the freezing evening. She jokes and comments on how cold it was as she hung his coat. For instance, she asks Holden, “Are you frozen to death?” We can understand that there was a good relationship between the two of them.

Mrs. Spencer did not live alone and they shared the room. They were about seventy years old living a boring life. Holden went into the room and he was reading the Atlantic Monthly. The room was filled with pills and medicine. He was then ushered to sit on the bed as they started chatting. As they talked, we understand that Mr. Spenser loves nodding as he listens. Holden says, “You never saw anybody nod as much in your life as old spencer did.” They talked about life at school, how Mr. Spenser met his parents, and it even shifted to their lessons. They later were talking about Holden’s essay paper.Holden- The Catcher in the Rye

The whole conversation takes a whole new turn when Mr. Spencer starts inquiring into Holden’s school life. He claims that he is inquiring into his life in order to help him out. Mr. Spencer did not want to fail Holden in this essay but the essay was pathetic. Holden decided to play with Mr. Spencer’s emotions and claims that, ‘if he was in the same positions he would also do the same. However, all in all, Spencer was thinking about the ducks at the Lagoon. What happens when it is frozen, where do the Ducks go. Holden felt good that he could pretend that he cared and nobody could get.

He decides to open up to Mr. Spencer about why he left his previous school. He talks about Phonies again. He said he did not like his brother because he was a phonie and again he claimed that his previous school was full of phonies. He gives examples of his head master. However, as they talk, Mr. Spencer is seen to be worried if he will be okay in the long run. However, Holden ends up reassuring him that he will be fine. He is invited for Hot chocolate but he ends up turning it down claiming that he needs to go to the gym. He leaves and Mr. Spencer wishes him Good luck

Holden goes away as he thinks about how he is a good liar. He lied to Mr. Spencer that he was going to pick his equipment even though he does not even keep his equipment in the gym. He goes to his room at Ossenburger. It was a cozy room but with small hitches such as his broken chair. He gives us his encounter with Ossenburger. It was during his talk at the school. However, he diverts from his story and tells us about Edgar Marsalla’s fart during the speech. He gets comfortable in his room and was alone since people were at the game. He was reading Isak Dinesen’s book, out of Africa which he says was there due to a confusion in the library. He read the book until he was distracted by Robert Ackley. He was his neighbor in the dormitory. Holden inquired about the game and was told that nobody won. Ackley could be seen to be in a terrible mood. We later see that Ackley was older. There banter goes for a while and name calling such as Holden callings Ackley, Ackleykid even though he was older. Stadlater, Holden’s roommate comes and says he is going for a date. He wants to freshen up for the date. Stadlater then leaves when he goes for his date at Annex.Holden- The Catcher in the Rye

Stadlater came from the Date with Jane. He says that they did not do a lot because they were mostly in Ed Banky’s vehicle. He was their baseball coach and Holden described him as his pet because he was the center of his team. They talk about their date and Holden starts making fun and insinuating what happened in the car. However, they got into an argument and it blew up into a fight. Holden was knocked out for some time and was there bleeding. They insulted each other and Stadler decided to leave the room. Holden left and went to Ackley’s room. Ackley was complaining about the noise that Holden and Stadler were making. He was shocked to see Holden bleeding when he switched on the light. Ackley is caring and Holden asked if he could sleep at Ely’s bed. Ely was out and would not be back until Sunday evening. However, Ackley was reluctant to let anybody sleep in Ely’s bed.

Holden was there thinking about Stadler and Jane in the car and he diverted the narration to the point when they double-dated in Ed Banky’s car. His thoughts went directly to joining the monastery. As he was talking, he made a joke that Ackley took as an insult to his religion. He decided to go home. He switched on the light and saw that Stadler was back. He did not even wake up. So, Holden lit a cigarette as he packed his bag. He had planned to go and come back on Wednesday. He packed everything including his new ice skates that his mother had bought him and lefts. As he lefts he shouted in the hallway, “Sleep tight, ya moron.” He thought he woke up everybody.

It was cold snowy night and he couldn’t call for a cab. He decided to walk to the station. He was lucky since he did not have to wait for long but only 10 minutes. He boarded the train and a lady with a huge bag came and sat next to him. She put the suitcase on the aisle and anybody would trip if they came down that way. They started talking when she saw the Pencey Prep Sticker. After the conversation he realized that she was the mother to one of his classmates. He then goes ahead and describes her son as a soggy old bastard who snaps people’s asses with his old wet towel. She asks his name so that he can tell his son that they met and he says ‘Rudolf Schidt’. This was their janitor’s name.

They talked about how Pency was as he lied further about his son. For example, he said that he was sensitive but thought to himself that he was as sensitive as a goddam toilet seat. They then decided to smoke even though he knew that it was not permitted. They chatted about other famous people in the school such as Old Ernie and he later invited her for a cocktail. She questioned him about if he was legally permitted to order drinks. We understand that Holden is tall and he was tall since it made him order drinks even though he was underage. However, she declined the offer. She asked if everything is okay at home and that is why he is going home early but he says that he is the one going home for the operation. She feels sorry for him. They did not talk a lot but he was invited to visit Ernie in Massachusetts during summer.Holden- The Catcher in the Rye

He got to Penn and went into a phone booth and started looking for numbers to call. He decided to go and spend his time in a hotel. He called for a cab but was too absent-minded that he gave him the regular address all out of it being a habit. When he realized, he told the driver to turn around and he refused since he had to go to Ninedieth Street to turn. He popped up the lagoon question that he had earlier brain stormed on Ackley’s floor. The driver was both amazed and mad he thought that he was messing with him. He is able to get to the hotel and checks into a swanky hotel, Edmont Hotel. He is frustrated that he cannot get alcohol. This makes him consider about going to Ernie’s. All this while he is thinking about Jane. However, he comes across, Sunny, who is a prostitute. However, he wants to get to know her better instead of having sex with her. This takes Sunny by surprise. She decides to go to her pimp who later comes and raffles up Holden. He punches him in his stomach. It was because he wanted to pay a little. Sunny even threatened to get Holden’s wallet. The commotion was too much that Holden even started to cry.

Step 2Holden- The Catcher in the Rye

This narrative helped me understand who Holden really was. We can understand that he is a man who likes being around people. One of the greatest things that we get is that he loves lying and making fun. He lies to Mr. Spencer, and Ernest’s mum. His banter however does not augur well with everybody. It is the main reason that his roommate beats him up.Holden- The Catcher in the Rye

He loves drinking and this causes him to have to go to certain lengths. For example, he uses his height to get alcohol even though he is underage. In addition, when he reached New York, he was too worried about not getting alcohol that he was thinking of going to Ernest’s place.

Holden loves ladies. But we understand that he loves Jane. He thinks of him continuously. Even when he was with sunny, he is thinking of her. He decides to procure the services of Sunny, who was a young prostitute and ends up being beaten by Sunny’s pimp. It is because he wanted to pay less than he was required to. He says that he did not have sex with her but only wanted to talk to her.

From this reading, we realize that Holden has his way with words. He is not a fighter but he loves insulting people. His insults are his form of defence.

Step 3 Holden- The Catcher in the Rye

Question One

The narrative is in a first person’s point of view. It is mainly given from Holden’s point of view. It makes it easier for us the reader to understand what happens. We can get the exact words that makes it possible for us to get his mood on whatever was unfolding. This is further improved when goes into a monologue or flash backs. He gives us more information on the topic. For instance, he flashes back about his brother D.B. who he says he does not like because he is fornie (1). When he was telling Mr. Spencer why he left his former school, he says that it was full of fornies.

The point of view further helps us understand what the narrator thinks of a certain character. We can get to understand Ernest is the biggest bastard that ever went to Pency (40). He later explains that Ernest used to walk with his old towel after showering as he snapped the other boys. This is information that is best given from the first person’s perspective. In addition, we understand the unique names that he was telling Ernest’s mum.

Question 7 Holden- The Catcher in the Rye

There is an array of topics that surface in the novel.


Religion clearly surfaces when Ackley and Holden have their chat. We understand that Ackley has to go to mass in the morning (35). This information gives us the exact religion that Ackley professes, he is a catholic. He is even mad at Holden because he needs to be up early in the morning for church. Later Ackley is mad when Holden make fun of his religion (36). In addition, Holden thinks of joining the monastery (36).

Love-Holden- The Catcher in the Rye

Love is envisaged in the book numerous times. Firstly, we see that Holden loves Jane. He keeps thinking about her numerous times. He thinks about her numerous times. A good example was when he spent his time with Sunny (68). He was thinking about Jane as he walked around New York. At the end of it, he ended up meeting Sunny. She was a prostitute but he wanted to talk. I thin that he had decided to prevent himself from sleeping with her because of his love for Jane. Stradlater was in love with Jane. He loved her too much and decided to take her out and treat her (29).

Sex-Holden- The Catcher in the Rye

We see that Stradlater was talking to Holden about his summer when he had sex with some lady back home (28). In addition, Holden says that sex was a topic that was always talked about by many of the guys at Pencey (36). When Holden met with Ernest mum, he went ahead and looked at the way he was smoking the cigarette and concluded that she had a sex appeal and this shows us what he was thinking (41). When Holdern was at Ackley’s room, he was thinking about the time that they spent together and how they had an orgy at Ed Banky’s car (37). He even goes ahead and expounds that he even knows Stradlater’s technique. Lastly, Sunny is a prostitute. This means that she gives sexual favors in exchange for money. She is even amazed when Holden decides to talk instead of having sex with her. This leads her to call Maurice who was her pimp (73). When he was at Penn, he starts thinking about Old Jane again. He even says that he can never practice sexual morality. He provides that, “ I keep making up these sex rules for myself, and then I break them right away (46).”

Question 2

The main problem facing the character is that he does not know how to be alone. He loves being in the company of his friends and strangers. However, I think that he is likeable by nature. For instance, he is alone as he watches and judges the people at the game. However, he decides to go to Mr. Spencer (4). From Mr. Spencer, he goes ahead and decides to reads a book. It does not last long and immediately he hears Ackley outside from the shower he goes ahead and joins him in his room (14). They chat and when Stradlater comes home, he starts following him around. He goes to the extent of following him to the bathroom as he shaved (20). After the fight he decides to go to home but he first decides to wake up everybody by shouting on the corridors.

When he boards the bus, he is not the one who seeks for Ernest’s mother’s attention but she is the one who starts the conversation. However, he tries to get her attention by stating that he is the one who is have the operation (43). This shows that he wants to get her attention. Therefore, it means that even if she did not start the conversation, he would have just done something to get her attention. When they reached Penn, he had declined the mum’s invitation to visit, but he later thinks about it when he is unable to get liquor. In the cab, he ends up getting the Driver’s attention by talking to him about the ducks at the Laguna. He provides that he is the However, he ends up in Sunny. Sunny is the epitome of his loneliness. He goes to the extent of procuring the services of a prostitute only to talk. She inquired about her life both at night and during the day (70). Sunny even went to the extent of making the first move but Holden was all nervous. This made Sunny to mad and she even questioned why he had looked for the services of a prostitute.

Therefore, we realize that Holden’s main problem is that he likes having company around him. However, he is not a really good person to have around. He loves abuses and lies. Consequently, it leads to him always finding himself in trouble. For instance, he pushes his roommate to the extent that he beats him up. He talks badly about Ackley’s religion which makes him mad causing him to be chased from the room. He asks Ernest’s mum for cocktail which spooks her because she knows he is underage. He then refuses to give Sunny the services she wanted causing Maurice to beat her up.