14.Why do you think Holden wouldn't pay Maurice for Sunny? What was making him refuse? What does this say about who he is?
15.How does Holden's behavior towards the nuns contribute to his characterization?
16.Why does Holden like the whistling little kid so much? Explain the connection to the song the boy was whistling. Why does Holden like the museum so much? Is this relatable? Why doesn't he want go in when he gets there?
17.What does Holden's interaction with Sally say about how he's feeling internally?
Catcher in the Rye Reading Log
Chapters 1 & 2
"People always think something's all true. I don't give a damn, except that I get bored sometimes when people tell me to act my age. Sometimes I act a lot older than I am--I really do-- but people never notice it. People never notice anything" (13).
Chapters 3 & 4
quote: "The way I wore it, I swung the old peak way around to the back--very corny, I'll admit, but I liked it that way. I looked good in it that way" (24).
This quote connects to the topic of the American Dream. In this novel, the American Dream relates to the idea of one's path already being carved out for him; the controversy arises when one must choose whether to follow this pre determined destiny or to create his own original legacy. In this quote, the red hunting hat represents individuality. No one besides Holden wears this hat. Holden gets criticized by some for wearing this hat, while others embrace the hat's uniqueness. Holden likes the hat and he wears it the way that he likes to wear it even though the style is different. The red hunting hat is not part of the 1950s conformity norm. By wearing the hat, which represents expressing individuality, Holden is breaking the mold of society and celebrating his uniqueness. He is choosing to pursue his own path rather than follow the predestined direction for his life. This directly connects to an emerging theme in the novel: the idea that society encourages conformity while subliminally snubbing individuality and that one must be willing to face criticism to be able to express himself freely and honestly.
Chapters five and six reveal Holden's relationship with Allie and Holden's relationship with Jane. In chapter five, Holden shares the tragic loss of his younger brother Allie who died of Leukemia several years ago. From the way Holden describes Allie, I could tell that Holden really loved Allie. I could also feel that Holden misses Allie deeply. I thought the fact that Holden carries Allie's old baseball mitt with him was very sweet; that fact that he still has the mitt reveals an emotional, tender side of Holden that had not yet been showcased in the novel. Holden's relationship to Allie adds another element to Holden's characterization; the reader sees that Holden is actually just a vulnerable, emotional little kid trying to find his way in the world. In addition, I feel Allie's death is somewhat of a justification for Holden's unruly behavior. Such a devastating tragedy is probable cause for many of the issues that Holden has-- I mean, who wouldn't be deeply affected by the loss of a little brother? The loss of a sibling undoubtedly creates an indelible wound that brings pain which is difficult to quell Holden also tacitly demonstrates how much he cares about Jane when he gets so upset about the possibility that Stradlater slept with her. Holden genuinely cares for Jane; this shows yet another aspect of Holden's character because most boys his age would readily take advantage of a girl. By truly caring for and valuing Jane, Holden reveals that he's not just hooligan or a rascal-or callous or acrid-he's a good kid.
7. Why do you think this chapter is when Holden starts to feel "lonesome" and "rotten" and "depressed"? Why is he having these feelings at this time?
8. How do you feel about what Holden said to Ernie's mother on the train? What made him compelled lie and what do you think motivates his tendency to lie compulsively?
9. Do you think Holden truly wanted to meet up with Eddie Birdsell's old friend?
10. What do you think about Holden's interactions with the three girls at the bar? Does he seem oblivious or aware of the situation?
11. What feelings is Holden subconsciously revealing that he has towards Jane?
12. What is he significance of the conversation about the ducks and the lake that Holen has with then cab driver? What is the significance of the fish that they talk about? What is the symbolism?
13. Evaluate Holden's behavior in the prostitute situation. Why does he act this way? Did he do the right thing?
John Green Video
Description of 3 main points:
1. People in our image based culture have a bad habit of viewing novels in pictures instead of examining the language itself. Literary criticism becomes focused on plot and action. The text is the reason that Catcher is still so relevant today, not because of image or plot or action.
2. Catcher uses 1st persons technique. We see the minimization of language as a form of self protection. Intensity of emotion is masked by the narration style. Authenticity comes from grammar and word choice.
3. Holden is trying to stop time. He is obsessed with stopping time me because he does not want to pass into adulthood.
Holden is searching for someone to listen to him. He wants somebody to meaningfully respond to his fears of adulthood-he wants to know if adulthood is OK. He sees adulthood as an adulteration of innocence.
Holden is protective of innocence. The red hunting hat is an emblem of protection and a form of confidence; it covers his gray hair and helps him face the phony adult world.