The Catcher in the Rye

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1 The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger STUDY GUIDE Perspectives in American Literature Catcher in the Rye Threads & Themes Your Name: Be an active reader! As you are reading, when you notice a reference to any of the four topics listed below, write down the page number and a brief comment/quote. These topics are like bold colored threads which weave thru the fabric of the novel and are keys to major themes. We will use these details when we discuss the meanings of the novel. Empathy Innocence Lies and Tm,mnfigrn Phonies 1

2 Symbols Name The Catcherinthe Rye Choose one of the pairs in 2-5 and make a Venn Diagram for comparison. are they different? 5. How are the museum mummies like the carrousel animals and the ducks? How different? 4. How is Allie like the boy singing The Catcher in the Rye? How are they 3. Choose two of the phonies. How are they alike? How are they different? 2. How are the red cap and the baseball mitt alike? How are they different? museum baseball mitt ducks phonies carrousel title poem red cap Reference Page Numbers 1. List as many references to each of these as you can find. chooses to write about the former, and he ends his story with the latter. the catcher s mitt and the carrousel also have special significance for Holden; he Throughout The Catcher in the Rye there are repeated references to the red cap, to the Robert Burns poem, to the ducks, to the museum, and to phonies. You can tell that or message of a story. objects in a story are often clues to symbols. Symbols are used to emphasize the theme dove is a symbol of peace. Titles, repeated phrases or repeated references to particular Directions: A symbol is something that stands for something else. For example, the D )

3 a prostitute? 1. What does Holden mean when he says that his brother D.B. is out in Hollywood being Chapter 1 3. What does Holden give us as the reason for leaving Elkton Hills? 2. What did Spencer do that particularly annoyed Holden? 1. Who is Mr. Spencer and why does Holden visit him? Chapter 2 6. What kind of health does Holden appear to be in? 5. Why was Holden being kicked out of Pencey Prep? 4. How did Holden let the fencing team down? 3. Where and what is Pencey Prep? 2. Where is Holden at the beginning of the story? Catcher in the Rye Study Questions 3

4 Chapter 3 1. What does Holden mean when he says I m quite illiterate, but I read a lot? Give examples of what he reads. 2. Who is Ackley? Describe him. 3. What does Ackley do that annoys Holden? Chapter 4 1. Who is Stradilater? Why does Holden refer to him as a secret slob? What does he look like? 2. What point does Holden try to make about people when he talks about Stradlater and the commas and Ackley s description of the basketball player? 3. Why did it make Holden nervous that Stradlater was going out with Jane Gallagher? Chapter 5 1. Who is Allie, and why is his baseball mitt so special to Holden? 2. Why did Holden s parents want to have him psychoanalyzed? Lf

5 2. Holden says that he is a pacifist. What is that, and is he? Explain your response Holden calls other people phony. In what way is he one? Chapter 9 them as he stated? 2. What are some of the lies Holden tells Mrs. Morrow? Do you think he s as sorry for 1. What does Holden mean when he says, Mothers are all slightly insane? Chapter 8 4. Why do you think Holden was crying as he left? 3. What is his final good-bye to Pencey Prep? 2. Where does Holden then decide to go? 1. Why does Holden suddeniy decide to visit Ackley s room? Chapter 7 1. What do Holden and Stradlater fight over? Chapter 6 c

6 Chapter Who is Phoebe, and what is Holden s opinion of her? 2. What evidence is there that shows us that Holden probably doesn t look as old as he says he looks? Chapter What was the past relationship like between Holden and Jane? Give examples. Chapter What do Holden and the cab driver talk about? 2. Why does Holden leave Ernie s? Chapter Previously Holden stated he was a pacifist. Does his description of how he would deal with the glove thief support this, or is he just yellow? Chapter Does Holden have any guilt feelings about Allie? Do you feel this is abnormal in any way, or normal? 2. What made Holden cry? (p

7 3. Does Holden know his way around the city? What does this tell us about him? 2. How does Holden treat little kids? Give an example. 1. Who does Holden make a date with? Why does he call her up if he thinks she s a phony? Chapter Why does Holden think it spoils a conversation if someone asks what religion he is? 2. How does Holden treat the nuns? Why? suitcases of the nuns and of his former roommate? 1. What is the point that Holden tries to make about people when he elaborates about the Chapter What evidence shows us that Holden might have made a good actor? -7

8 2. How does Holden feel about actors? The Lunts? New Hampshire? 1. What is Holden s opinion of the Christmas show at Radio City? 1. Why did Holden get mad at Luce for calling his (Luce ts) old girlfriend the Whore of Chapter Why did Holden think the woman who cried through the movie was a phony? Chapter 18 difference in his eyes? 5. Why does Holden want to take off with Sally now instead of after college? What is the 4. How does Holden describe a boy s school when talking to Sally? a horse? 3. What is Holden s point about the difference between men owning a car and men owning 1. How do Holden s feelings for women compare to his feelings for men? Chapter 17 r

9 1. How does Holden act again in this chapter? Chapter What does Holden find so intriguing about Phoebe s note- book? Chapter After he leaves the park, where does Holden go? Why? an atheist? 6. What does Holden say about Allie that contradicts all his other statements about being 5. What information does Holden finally tell us about.allie s funeral? 4. Where does Holden go right after he leaves the bar? Why? 3. What happens to Phoebe s record? 2. What happens to Holden at the Wicker Bar? 2. Who was Luce to Holden? 9

10 happiest days of his life? 1. Why did it depress Holden when an old guy told him that his days at Pencey were the 2. What does it tell us about Holden when Phoebe states, You don t like anything that s 3. Why does Holden think about James Castle when Phoebe asks him to name one thing God s sake---especially if they were a thousand times nicer than the people you know 4. What does Holden tell Phoebe he d like to be? What does this say about him? 1. Who is Mr. Antolini? 2. How does Phoebe cover for Holden when their parents come home? 3. Tn talking with her parents, how does Phoebe sound like Holden? Chapter 23 that re alive and all? Holden when he says, Just because somebody s dead, you don t just stop liking them, for that he likes a lot? Why does he deny really knowing James? What does it tell us about happening? Chapter 22 Ic? )

11 4. What does Phoebe do that makes Holden cry? -I 2. Why does the article on hormones upset Holden? 1. Later, after he has had time to think about it, what does Holden think about Antolini? Chapter4d I L digression about flits? 5. How does Antolini upset and scare Holden? Can you relate his to Holden s previous die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one? 4. What does Antolini s quote mean, The mark of the immature man is that he wants to 3. What does Holden say about him hating people, such as Ackley and Stradlater? 2. How does Holden feel physically while he talks to Mr. Antolini? 1. Why did Holden fail his speech class? Chapter 24, 4-. I 5. What does Holden give to Phoebe?

12 4. Why does he keep repeating, Allie, don t let me disappear? but it s bad if you say anything to them? the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, and Allie. written on a school wall? 3. What strange feeling does Holden start to have when he steps off of curbs? 5. What does Holden decide he must do next? Where does he first go? 6. With all the bad language that Holden uses, why was he so upset that curse words were 7. How does Holden treat the two small boys in the museum? 8. Why is it so important to Holden that Phoebe not be mad at him? Relate this to his past 9. What does Holden mean when he states, The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for 10. Is the carousel symbolic? Explain. Li -ì

13 2. What was the past relationship like between Holden and Jane? 1. At the conclusion, where is Holden? Chapter 25 ) [3

14 Directions: Similarities among characters are sometimes a clue to themes in the story. have similar values? What generalizations might Salinger be making? chose? Do these characters cope with their problems in similar ways? Do they experiences or attitudes are shared by all members of the particular group you What do you think Salinger is saying about people in this group? What common 2. Pick one grouping and write an essay on the following: Seducers Outcasts Materialists Phonies Innocents Betrayers Sunny Carl Luce Holden Ackley nuns singing boy boys in museum Lillian Simmons D.B. Allie Mr. Antolini Dick Slagle Mr. Spencer Jane Phoebe Sally Stradlater James Castle 1. Place each of the following characters in one or more of the groups below: Character Groups Name The Catcherinthe Rye

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