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Catcher in the Rye Project
Transcript of Catcher in the Rye Project
'Look,' I said. 'I don't feel much like myself tonight. I've had a rough night. Honest to God. I'll pay you and all, but do you mind very much if we don't do it? Do you mind very much?' The trouble was, I just didn't want to do it. I felt more depressed than sexy," (Salinger 96) "I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It's awful. If I'm on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I'm going, I'm liable to say I'm going to the opera. It's terrible." (Salinger 16) E F I J K M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z X is for Ducks Growing Up "I was thinking about the lagoon in Central Park, down near Central Park South. I was wondering if it would be frozen over when I got home, and if it was, where did the ducks go. I was wondering where the ducks went when the lagoon got all icy and frozen over. I wondered if some guy came in a truck and took them away to a zoo or something. Or if they just flew away." (Salinger 13) is for Allie Depression is for Catcher Growing Up is for Faith Cavendish women & sex/ alienation & meltdown is for Ernie Phoniness is for Baseball Mitt Depression is for Phoebe Growing Up is for School Alienation & Meltdown is for Grand Phoniness "when [Ernie] was finished, and everybody was clapping their heads off, old Ernie turned around on his stool and gave this very phony, humble bow. Like as if he was a helluva humble guy, besides being a terrific piano player. It was very phony- I mean him being such a big snob and all." (Salinger 84) is for Kings Women & Sex/ Growing Up is for Red Hunting Hat is for Queen of the Phonies is for Zoo is for Museum of Natural History is for Lies Phoniness/ Alienation & Meltdown is for Nuns "'I used to play checkers with [Jane Gallagher] all the time... she wouldn't move any of her kings. What she'd do, when she'd get a king, she wouldn't move it. She'd just leave it in the back row. She'd get them all lined up in the back row. Then she'd never use them. She just liked the way they looked when they were all in the back row.'
Stradlater didn't say anything. That kind of stuff doesn't interest most people" (Salinger 31-32) is for Jane Gallagher Women & Sex This is one of the first times readers can see Holden's hatred for everything phony. How strongly he feels, just about hearing a simple word, shows how deep his extreme dislike for anything and everything he considers phony. is for Virgin Women & Sex/ Phoniness Alienation & Meltdown "I was starting to feel pretty sexy and all, but I was a little nervous anyway. If you want to know the truth, I'm a virgin. I really am. I've had quite a few opportunities to lose my virginity and all, but I've never got around to it yet. Something always happens." (Salinger 92) Though Holden often talks about his dislike for everything phony, and calls many things phony, this quote shows Holden's own phoniness. How he can hate everything phony, yet act phony himself is sort of an oxymoron. How Holden lies to almost everyone for no reason other than his own enjoyment also shows how he alienates and distances himself from everyone by not being truthful, for no apparent reason. is for Writer Phoniness Holden calling Faith Cavendish, a woman he barely knows, first when he gets to New York, definitely shows just how lonely he is. He was desperate, and she was the only person he could think of to call, even though they never met. It also the struggles he has while interacting with women. He wants to meet up with this woman, so he is calls her in the middle of the night, which doesn't make a lot of sense. Holden calling Faith shows the troubles he has dealing with women, and his loneliness. This quote demonstrates how Holden really doesn't want to grow up, and wants to save other children from the adult world he considers "phony". The cliff represents growing up, and Holden is stopping them from "falling off", or growing up. Saving these other children would also help Holden not to have to face his fear of growing up. Throughout the story, it's pretty obvious Holden doesn't want to grow up, and is trying to find ways to escape it, but this is his first real confession of his true feelings. Ernie is another example of someone or something Holden finds phony. He finds Ernie phony because he finds his humbleness not genuine since Ernie is such a great piano player, and according to Holden, a snob. Whether he really is not genuine in his humbleness, or Holden just finds sees it that way because he is talented, readers never find out. "all of a sudden, I got an idea. I took out my wallet and started looking for this address a guy I met at a party last summer, that went to Princeton, gave me... It was the address of this girl that wasn't exactly a whore or anything but didn't mind doing it once in a while," (Salinger 63) Holden often ponders where the ducks in Central Park go in the winter. The ducks are symbolic of Holden himself, not knowing where to go since being kicked out of Pencey Prep. Holden is afraid to think about what will happen to him, after leaving Pencey and needing to grow up. Holden doesn't know what to do with himself, just like he is unsure where the ducks go when it gets cold. When Holden finds out Stradlater is going on a date with his childhood friend Jane, he feels kind of upset. The story he tells of Jane leaving her kings in the back row definitely shows how much he likes her, remembering such small details about her. He gets upset at Stradlater for going out with her, because he likes her and really cares about her, and he's worried what Stradlater might do to her, but he is to afraid to say this. Holden telling this story gets across to readers all the feelings he has for Jane. Growing Up "I knew that whole museum routine like a book... [I] had this teacher, Miss Aigletinger, that took us there damn near every Saturday. Sometimes we looked at the animals and sometimes we looked at the stuff the Indians had made in ancient times... I get very happy when I think about it. Even now." (Salinger 119-120) is for Ossenburger Phoniness is for seX is for Touchy is for Hooker "[D.B.]'s in Hollywood...He's got a lot of dough now. He didn't use to. He used to be just a regular writer...Now he's out in Hollywood, D.B., Being a prostitute. If there's one thing I hate, it's the movies" (Salinger 1-2) Holden feels upset about his brother living and working in Hollywood, because he feels all of Hollywood is phony.He doesn't like how his brother grew up and left him for a place he finds phony. Holden wants D.B. to go back to being a regular writer, versus writing for the movies, because he feels it is more genuine than Hollywood. Women & Sex Holden's encounter with Sunny the hooker demonstrates his desire to get close and be with women, but how he feels afraid. He gets a prostitute because he wants to sleep with her, but when she gets there he decides he is too afraid. This is a problem Holden seems to face throughout the story, desperately wanting a girlfriend but being to afraid. "I didn't much want to see [the performance], but I knew old Sally, the queen of the Phonies, would start drooling all over the place when I told her I had tickets for that, because the Lunts were in it and all." (Salinger 116) Phoniness/ Women & Sex It seems rather odd that Holden decides to go on a date with Sally, even though he finds her so phony. Sally only wants to see a specific show because of the people in it, which Holden finds phony. He still takes her out, even if he considers her so phony, which shows how badly he wants to feel close to a woman, even if he doesn't really like her personality. "Where I lived at Pencey, I lived in Ossenburger Memorial Wing of the new dorms... It was named for this guy Ossenburger that went to Pencey. He made a pot of dough in the undertaking business...he could get members of your family buried for about five bucks apiece. You should see old Ossenburger. He probably just shoves them in a sack and dumps them in the river. Anyway, he gave Pencey a pile of dough, and they named our wing after him." (Salinger 16) Holden's rant about Ossenburger is one of the first times we see his hatred for all things he finds phony. He seems to find Ossenburg's donation to Pencey not very genuine, and his business practice phony in general. Why he feels so strongly about Ossenburger specifically, isn't known for sure. In this brief passage, readers can definitely see how important Allie was to Holden. The way Allie comes up in the story seems almost accidental, but it shows how deeply Holden was really affected by the death of his younger brother. The casual way Holden talks about Allie's death, which obviously really affected him, shows how hard it was for him, and how its probably something he doesn't like to talk about. Holden himself probably doesn't even realize how much Allie's death hurt him, but as readers we can really see how difficult this event was for him. Readers find out about Holden's brother Allie's death from the mention of his baseball mitt. The amount of detail Holden remembers about the mitt shows how much he is holding on to this memory, to remember his brother. This displays how hard the death was for him, and how Holden is uses the baseball mitt as a way to remember Allie. Holden's memory of the Museum of Natural History definitely a positive one of his childhood. This memory makes him feel happy, where as most of his other childhood memories make him feel depressed. As one of his only good childhood memories mentioned, the Museum of Natural History is certainly an important place for Holden. "In my mind, I'm probably the biggest sex maniac you ever saw. Sometimes I think of some very crumby stuff I wouldn't mind doing if the opportunity came up... The thing is, though, I don't like the idea. It stinks, if you analyze it. I think if you don't really like a girl, you shouldn't horse around with her at all," (Salinger 62) Women & Sex Holden really admits his true feelings about women and sex in this quote. What he says really demonstrates the struggle he has, of wanting to be close to a girl, but too afraid at the same time. We see how he really wants to be with girls and mess around with them, but he feels he should only do this if he really likes them, which presents a challenge for him. This is another example of when readers can see Holden's own phoniness, and what his relationships with women are really like. Holden usually acts like he knows what he's talking about when it comes to sex, but we can now see some of his own phoniness when he says he is still a virgin. Holden talks like he is pretty experienced with women, but now we find he isn't all he seems like. "This one psychoanalyst guy they have here, keeps asking me if I'm going to apply myself when I go back to school in September. It's such a stupid question, in my opinion. I mean how do you know what you're going to do until you do it? The answer is, you don't. I think I am, but how do I know?" (Salinger 213) Holden's statement about school and feelings about school in general, certainly show his sense of alienation. There is no one he really feels close to, so he has no reason to try except for himself, which obviously doesn't motivate him. His bitterness about school and if he will try or not show how bad his meltdown was, and how it will be a challenge for him to start school again. "My hunting hat gave me quite a lot of protection," (Salinger 212-213) Though Holden may be talking specifically about physical protection, his red hunting hat is a symbol of physical and mental protection for him. When Holden is wearing the hat, he feels especially confident, and like he can handle everything without help from other people. Though it makes him feel confident, it helps him alienate himself even more from the people around him. Growing Up "my parents would have about two hemorrhages a piece if I told anything personal about them. They're quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father. They're nice and all- I'm not saying that- but they're also touchy as hell." (Salinger 1) Holden doesn't talk about his parent much during the story, so we don't know much about what his relationship with them was like when he was growing up, or what it is like now. A reader can assume since his parents aren't mentioned much, and when they are he calls them things like touchy, that Holden's relationship with them wasn't great. He may have had a good relationship at one point, but things like being at school far away from them, and losing Allie were probably hard for their relationship. Overall, as readers we aren't given much insight as to what the relationship between Holden and his parents was or is like. "You should see [Phoebe]. You never saw a little kid so pretty and smart in your whole life...You'd like her. I mean if you tell old Phoebe something, she knows exactly what the hell you're talking about. I mean you can even take her anywhere with you. If you taker her to see a lousy movie, for instance, she knows its a lousy movie." Through the character of Phoebe readers can see how much Holden idolized the childhood world. How he sees Phoebe as nearly perfect, and he goes to her with his problems. He doesn't want to see her grow up. Phoebe also brings out the best in Holden, making him act more kind and caring. The relationship Holden has with Phoebe is clearly very important to him. "I was telling you about that afternoon when Jane and I came close to necking. It was raining like hell and all of a sudden this booze hound her mother was married to came out on the porch and asked Jane if there were any cigarettes in the house...old Jane wouldn't answer him...Then all of a sudden this tear plopped down on the checkerboard. On of the read squares- boy, I can still see it. She rubbed it into the board with her finger. I don't know why, but it bothered the hell out of me... Then she really started to cry, and the next thing I knew, I was kissing her all over" (Salinger 78-79) Here Holden is able to show readers just how close he and Jane used to be.They obviously had a good, close relationship, and Holden really misses what he had with her. Throughout the book Holden tries to get the courage to call her, but never actually goes through with it. We can see how he is still having the problem of wanting to be close with Jane again, but being to afraid to act on these feelings. Depression "Anyway, these who nuns were sitting next to me, and we sort of struck up a conversation. The one right next to me had one of those straw baskets that you see nuns and Salvation Army babes collecting dough in around Christmas time... They let me give ten bucks as a contribution." (Salinger 109-110) Holden's encounter with the nuns is a pretty interesting one. After being ripped off ten dollars by Sunny the prostitute, Holden donates ten dollars to some nuns he has never met. They help to cheer him up, after how depressed he was the night before. Not much ever seems to cheer up Holden, but his conversation with the nuns left him feeling pretty good. Depression "We left the zoo and crossed over this little street in the park, and then went through one of those tunnels that always smell like somebody's taking a leak. it was on the way to the carrousel... 'Aren't you going to ride too?' [Phoebe] asked me. She was sort of looking at me funny. You could tell she wasn't too sore anymore. 'Maybe I will the next time. I'll watch ya,'" (Salinger 210-211) The zoo and carrousel are certainly emotional places for Holden. As he watches Phoebe ride the carrousel, he feels so happy he almost cries. Holden hasn't been nearly that happy since the story started. Holden isn't really sure why watching Phoebe makes him so happy, he says she just looks so "nice" riding the carrousel. The simple act of taking his sister to the zoo and watching her ride a carrousel makes Holden the happiest he's been in the story. is for I felt like jumping Depression "I felt like jumping out the window. I probably would’ve, too, if I’d been sure somebody’d cover me up as soon as I landed. I didn’t want a bunch of stupid rubbernecks looking at me when I was all gory." (Salinger 104) This direct thought of suicide clearly shows how depressed Holden really is, but it also shows how he wants to keep the world pure. He doesn't want people to see his dead body after he jumps out the window, because he doesn't want to hurt them. Holden talks and thinks of suicide more than once, but this is one of the only times we see his logical reason for not doing it. is for "It's no fun to be yellow. Maybe I'm not all yellow. I don't know. I think maybe I'm just partly yellow and partly the type that doesn't give much of a damn if they lose their gloves." (Salinger 89) When Holden says he is yellow, he is saying he is a coward. How he is too afraid to go find the person who stole his gloves and confront them. But how he also doesn't really care. This is another example of Holden alienating himself, because he isn't getting his gloves, just to avoid having contact with this other person he doesn't know. is for jUmp Depression "Finally, what [James] did, instead of taking back what he said, he jumped out the window. I was in the shower and all, and even I could hear him land. But I just thought something fell out the window, a radio or a desk or something, not a boy or anything." (Salinger 170) Though Holden and James didn't really know each other well, its obvious his suicide affected Holden. He remembers a lot about that day, like how James was wearing a sweater of Holden's when he died. Why Holden mentions this story at this point in the book unclear, we aren't even sure what makes Holden himself remember it, but the suicide of James Castle is obviously something that made an impact on Holden's life.