RE: The Catcher in the Rye help with homework Chapter 12
- Again, what does the duck question (asked of Horowitz, the cab driver) show about Holden’s character?
- “People always clap for the wrong things,” according to Holden. Cite three examples of this.
- Find two examples of ironies Holden is aware of in this chapter.
- Why do people have to say stuff like “glad to’ve met you” in order to stay alive? What does Holden mean?
Find two examples of ironies Holden is aware of in this chapter.
Chapter 12 of The Catcher in the Rye is full of ironic commentary on the part of Holden Caulfield. Irony is when the unexpected happens and Holden is conscious of two events where irony occurs. It is interesting, though, too, that in chapter twelve other ironies are happening around Holden that he doesn’t observe. First, the two events that he does notice are how weird it is that Horowitz the cabby would be so ornery every time he answers a question. Holden asks a simple question about ducks and the cabby seems completely annoyed, but then turns around and tells Holden that mother nature takes care of her own. Surely he didn’t expect to learn anything or hear something wise come out of a grumpy cab driver. Second, he finds it uncouth for a guy at the bar to be groping a girl under the table while talking about someone’s suicide at the same time–that’s not exactly romantic. Plus, Holden marvels that good looking people seem to have unintelligent conversations. Holden doesn’t count on the fact, though that as he is out on the town looking for companionship to avoid his loneliness, all he seems to get is disappointment, and that is ironic, too. “People are always ruining things for you”(87) he says at the end of the chapter. Maybe he’s discovering that nothing is ever as it seems to be, which is a great discovery of irony, too.