RE: The Catcher in the Rye help with homework Chapter 1
- What do we learn about Holden’s relationship with his parents in this chapter?
- How has Holden’s brother D.B. lost his respect? Why does Holden object to his brother’s current writing? What does Holden mean when he says D.B. is in Hollywood “being a prostitute?”
- What is Holden’s self-image in Chapter 1? Find two supporting quotations. What incidents in this chapter tell us that Holden is a loner?
- Give an example of Holden making a broad generalization (a generalization unsupported by specific evidence).
- In talking about good-bys, Holden says, “I don’t care if it’s a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it. If you don’t, you feel even worse.” What does this quotation show about Holden’s character?
What is Holden’s self-image in Chapter 1? Find two supporting quotations. What incidents in this chapter tell us that Holden is a loner?
Holden Caulfield is the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye, and the most important function of these early chapters is to establish the basics of his personality. From the beginning of the novel, Holden tells his story in a bitterly cynical voice. He refuses to discuss his early life, he says, because he is bored by “all that David Copperfield kind of crap.” He gives us a hint that something catastrophic has happened in his life, acknowledging that he writes from a rest home to tell about “this madman stuff” that happened to him around the previous Christmas, but he doesn’t yet go into specifics. The particularities of his story are in keeping with his cynicism and his boredom. He has failed out of school, and he leaves Spencer’s house abruptly because he does not enjoy being confronted by his actions. Beneath the surface of Holden’s tone and behavior runs a more idealistic, emotional current. He begins the story of his last day at Pencey Prep by telling how he stood at the top of Thomsen Hill, preparing to leave the school and trying to feel “some kind of a good-by.” So this chapter provides us with the following examples that lead us to believe that Holden is a loner. Salinger, Pg. 6 (” The reason I was standing way up on Thomsen Hill, instead of down at the game… I just got back from New York with the fencing team… i left all the foils and equipment and stuff on the goddamn subway”) Salinger , Pg. 6 (“The whole team ostracized me the whole way back on the train. It was pretty funny in a way.”)