RE: The Catcher in the Rye help with homework Chapter 15

Chapter 15


  1. Name five things Holden finds irritating about Sally Hayes.
  2. What do suitcases symbolize for Holden? Why do they disturb him?
  3. What is disturbing to Holden about a nun teaching English? What depresses him about them?
  4. Why does Holden like Mercutio (from Romeo and Juliet) so much? What does this reveal about Holden? What other character in the novel is somewhat like Mercutio?
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What do suitcases symbolize for Holden? Why do they disturb him?

Holden lends a hand to two nuns nearby who don’t seem to know what to do with their cheap suitcases. Which leads Holden into a digression about … inexpensive suitcases. At Elkton Hills (one of his many previous boarding schools), Holden roomed with a guy named Dick Slagle who had very inexpensive suitcases. Shameful, right? Well, Dick thought so. He was so embarrassed about it that he used to keep them under the bed instead of on the luggage rack. Of course, this was depressing to Holden, who himself had very expensive suitcases. So he put his under the bed, too. The funny thing is, Dick kept taking Holden’s suitcases out and putting them back on the rack so that people would think they were his. But—he also kept insulting them, calling them “bourgeois.”Sheesh. You really can’t please some people.Obviously, both of them ended up getting new roommates. Wise words from Holden: it’s hard to be roommates with people if your suitcases are much better than theirs.Suitcases symbolize social status …prejudice about someone based upon mundane items that mean.  Nothing in the scheme of things. Nice suitcases signify a lofty social status. Simple or inexpensive suitcases prejudice an observer as to the social status of their owners.

Answered on 15.06.2017.
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