The Catcher in the Rye help with homework Chapter 15
- Name five things Holden finds irritating about Sally Hayes.
- What do suitcases symbolize for Holden? Why do they disturb him?
- What is disturbing to Holden about a nun teaching English? What depresses him about them?
- 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?
Name five things Holden finds irritating about Sally Hayes.
Holden wakes up around 10, smokes some cigarettes, and thinks about Jane. Basically, nothing has changed in the past 8-10 hours.
He does end up giving Sally Hayes a call. He says she’s not too smart, but he got tricked into thinking so for a while since she knew a lot about theater and literature and all that stuff. Also, he spent a lot of time making out with her, which can obscure the facts.
Once has her on the phone, they set a date to see a matinee. Then she tells him all about these boys who are just crazy over her, which is a less than tactful thing to do. After he hangs up, Holden looks out his window at the “perverts” across the way, but they all have their shades pulled down.
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.
What is disturbing to Holden about a nun teaching English? What depresses him about them?
The nuns, in addition to being nuns, are schoolteachers from Chicago who have just come to New York. One of the nuns teaches English, and Holden wonders how she feels about the sexy bits of books she has to teach. You know, since she’s a nun. So they start talking about English (Holden’s best subject), and we get a nice list of the books he’s read: Beowulf, Lord Randal My Son, Return of the Native, Romeo and Juliet, etc. The nun gets all excited about Romeo and Juliet, which Holden thinks isn’t exactly nun-appropriate. But he indulges in a discussion of it anyway. What bothered him most in the play wasn’t when Romeo and Juliet died; it was when Mercutio died. In retrospect, the conversation was actually a little stressful, since he was afraid they were going to ask him if he was Catholic. His father was Catholic at one point, he tells us. He remembers a kid named Louis Shaney who was cool to talk to until Louis tried to subtly find out if he was Catholic.
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?
Mercutio is a free spirit that horses around and brightens the mood. Once he died, everything in the play turns horrible and many characters become depressed. Much like the death of Allie. Once he dies, Holden becomes depressed and believes it is his fault that Allie died. Much like the fact that it was Romeo’s fault that Mercutio died. Holden wants to be like Mercutio (Allie) because Allie is a savior.