Catcher in the Rye Reading log
Chapters 1 & 2
"Partly because I have a lousy vocabulary and partly because I act quite young for my age sometimes. I was sixteen then, and I'm seventeen now, and some times I act like I'm about thirteen. It's really ironical, because I'm six foot two and a half and I have gray hair," (J.D. Salinger 11).
Chapters 3 & 4
"He was probably the only guy in the whole dorm, besides me, that wasn't down at the game...He was a senior, and he'd been at Pencey the whole four years and all, but nobody ever called him anything except "Ackley,'" (J.D. Salinger 22-23). The idea that everyone but these two people, outcasts of the student body, aren't at the game, but instead in their dorms, captures the central theme of community and how their really isn't an inherent sense of it between all the students, only between those who conform to the schools needs. To further support this, people at this school neglect the weird and leave them on the side lines which in this case is characterized by Ackley who nobody has even bothered to develop a deep bond with even though he's spent all 4 years with some of them. In summation, the community at Pencey is inclusive and shallow as they leave behind the socially "awkward" and forget about who they were.
Chapter 5 & 6
In the last two chapters we take a deeper look at Holdens life and can see him in a more true light than what he may try to make us perceive. In chapter 5, Holden even with his "callous" heart he rights a story about his brother Allie's baseball mit. Holden admits a key part of his past to us when he says that Allie died of leukemia and that he was the nicest person that he ever knew. He says that he would look behind himself thinking that Allie would be there, which shows how he has a heart which can be impacted and left as an indelible part of who he is. In the following chapter Holden interrogates Stradlater trying to find out about how his date with Jane went over. When asked the question of whether he had sex with Jane, Stradlater refuses to say anything at first, but eventually indulgently says that he couldn't say because it was a trade secret. This infuriates Holden so much that he walks over to him in an acrid manner and attempts to smack him.
Chapters 7 - 17
7. Why is Holden bothering with Ackley when literally 2 chapters ago he said he hated him? And what does he mean by "prince?"
8. Why did Holden make up that whole story to Ernest's mother?
9. Why is Holden trying to get a drink with people he doesn't know all of a sudden?
10. Why is Holden obsessed with drinking, a more than societal pressure to gain the image of cool?
11. Why did Holden not try to go out with Jane if he is so hot for her?
12. Why is Holden obsessed with the ducks?
13. Why does Holden say "it really did" so often? Is he looking for validation in the reader or for validation within himself?
14. Why does Holden find the christian religion ok when he himself hates societal and longstanding pressures?
15. Why did Holden decide to spend time with Sally when when he hates so many aspects of her personality?
16. What significance does the museum hold to both Holden and phoebe?
17. Why does holden bring up cars when talking to Sally?
John Green--- Catcher in the Rye
1. Holden try's to keep a grasp onto his innocence as he fears adulthood will be terrible. He try's to reach out to people for consolidation, but can never find it.
2. Holden's outlook on sex is a strong one yet all that he knows of the activity is that it is adult and scary. He says that he's had experience with it before yet he fears it in such a way that he can never go through withv doing it. This may be because he experienced or witnessed some sort of traumatic incident involving sex and he is also made a pass on by a trusted adult at the end of the book.
3. Holden is a passive character to distance himself from the reader and his pain. He speaks in the past tense and generally doesn't take complete responsibility for his actions creating distance between what he does and himself.