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 do we learn about Holden’s relationship with his parents in this chapter?
We learn that Holden’s parents provided him with a lousy childhood, because they were too occupied. Salinger, Pg. 3 (“….and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all…”). There is not a strong relationship between Holden and his parents. Ultimately there must have been some driving forces in sending Holden away to for high school and since Holden spends the majority of his year away from home the conflict hasn’t been resolved. Holden’s father has standards for Holden, such as passing all of his classes, and Holden likes to rebel against these standards .The only role that his parents seem to play in his life, is bringing fear upon him. Holden’s mother constantly smokes during the middle of the night which shows that she may be experiencing great troubles, which can presumably be featured around Holden, but the details are never mentioned. A healthy upbringing results in a healthy adult, Holden was raised in a way that resulted in an unhealthy relationship with his parents by not being able to trust them or talk to his parents about any problems. Holden’s relationship with his parents may have been the very thing that caused his need for physiological help.
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?”
Holden Caulfield writes his story from a rest home to which he has been sent for therapy. He refuses to talk about his early life, mentioning only that his brother D. B. is a Hollywood writer. He hints that he is bitter because D. B. has sold out to Hollywood, forsaking a career in serious literature for the wealth and fame of the movies. He then begins to tell the story of his breakdown, beginning with his departure from Pencey Prep, a famous school he attended in Agerstown, Pennsylvania.
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.”)
Give an example of Holden making a broad generalization (a generalization unsupported by specific evidence).
- The mores expensive a school is, the more crooks it has
- People never believe anything/you
- People always think somethings all true
Most of Pencey was made up of phony’s.
- Mother’s are all slightly insane.
Mother’s aren’t too sharp about stuff like that.
- People with red are supposed to get mad very easily, but Allie never did and he had very red hair.
- People are always ruining things for you.
It was supposed to be something holy for God’s sake, when he played.
Nobody’s that good.
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?
In talking about good-bys, Holden says” I don’t care is it’s a sad goodbye, or a bad goodbye, but when I leave a place i like to know I’m leaving it. If you don’t, you feel even worse.” This quote shows us that Holden’s character is very vulnerable, sensitive and not as tough as the front he put on. Salinger, Pg. 7 “Only i wasn’t watching the game too much. What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of a good-bye”