RE: The Catcher in the Rye help with homework Chapter 7
- Why is Holden thinking of joining a monastery?
- Explain Holden’s reaction to packing the ice skates.
- Holden makes frequent references to his emotional state in this chapter. Find at least five examples of what he feels.
- “To give a girl the time” is an example of euphemism. What does its use indicate about Holden’s attitudes toward sex? Toward Jane?
Holden makes frequent references to his emotional state in this chapter. Find at least five examples of what he feels.
Holden reveals more of his psychology during this chapter. His greatest concern seems to be whether Stradlater seduced Jane Gallagher, revealing an unhealthy, if predictable, view on sexuality. Holden follows his thoughts on Jane Gallagher by musing about joining a monastery and thus becoming celibate. Holden seems to harbor a disgust for any type of sexuality, whether Ackley’s obviously false boasts or Stradlater’s successful seductions.
Holden finally reaches a breaking point in this chapter by leaving Pencey early, with no concrete plan for what he will do. In many ways this is typical of Holden’s established patterns of behavior: impulsive, selfish and aimless. His final insult to his fellow students shows that an innate sense of superiority, however unfounded, separates Holden from the other students, for he believes himself to be more honorable and ‘deep’ than the vapid and self-centered Stradlater and more refined than the piggish Ackley. Yet Holden demonstrates qualities similar to those of his peers; he suffers from a self-imposed delusion that he is different and misunderstood and chooses to leave Pencey for an uncertain future. At this point, then, we’re not quite sure whether Holden is a protagonist or antagonist in terms of how we should relate to him. Perhaps the better term for him is ‘anti-hero,’ meaning we sympathize with him because of his failures as a protagonist.