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Catcher in the Rye ABC book

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Anna Neidhart

on 24 May 2014

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Transcript of Catcher in the Rye ABC book

is for Fencing
Catcher in the Rye ABC book
“We’ d gone in to New York that morning for this fencing meet with McBurney School. Only, we didn’t have the meet. I left all the foils and equipment and stuff on the goddam subway. It wasn’t all my fault. I had to keep getting up to look at this map, so we’d know where to get off. So we got back to Pencey around two-thirty instead of around dinnertime. The whole team ostracized me the whole way back on the train. It was pretty funny, in a way.”(Salinger 3)

This passage represents the motif of Alienation because Holden alienates himself first of all by not be participating in Fencing, but instead he is just the manager. Also, by not remembering the foils and equipment on the subway Holden alienates himself again by not being involved enough and paying enough attention to the foils. And then with his final comment about it being funny, Holden is trying to make himself feel better for what he did when he knows that it was his fault.
K is for
“I sort of looked at her for a while. She was laying there asleep, with her face sort of on the side of the pillow. She had her mouth way open. It's funny. You take adults, they look lousy when they're asleep and they have their mouths way open, but kids don't. Kids look all right. They can even have spit all over the pillow and they still look all right. (Salinger 159)
Childhood and Growing Up

This passage represents the motif of Childhood and Growing Up. Holden see’s Phoebe and other kids as perfect compared to adults. Holden also is being phony by judging all adults before he knows them by thinking that the don’t look alright when they sleep and have their mouths open, he dislikes adults even for how they sleep.
C is for
“On Sundays, for instance, old Haas went around shaking hands with everybody's parents when they drove up to school. He'd be charming as hell and all. Except if some boy had little old funny-looking parents. You should've seen the way he did with my roommate's parents. I mean if a boy's mother was sort of fat or corny-looking or something, and if somebody's father was one of those guys that wear those suits with very big shoulders and corny black-and-white shoes, then old Hans would just shake hands with them and give them a phony smile and then he'd go talk, for maybe a half an hour, with somebody else's parents. I can't stand that stuff. It drives me crazy. It makes me so depressed I go crazy. I hated that goddam Elkton Hills.” (Salinger 14)

is for
It started, all right. "What's the matter with you, boy?" old Spencer said. He said it
pretty tough, too, for him. "How many subjects did you carry this term?"
"Five, sir."
"Five. And how many are you failing in?"
..."I flunked you in history because you knew absolutely nothing."
"I know that, sir. Boy, I know it. You couldn't help it."(Salinger 10)

This passage represents the motif of Alienation because Holden is talking to his teacher that he doesn’t care about or like instead of being at the football game which is also him being phony. Also, with Holden flunking out of so many classes he is alienating himself by not being involved by not trying in class, not listening, and not reading the materials that he needs to. With this causing Holden to get kicked out of another school, he is further alienating himself losing the few relationships he had with people there.
E is for
“After I'd told her I had to meet somebody, I didn't have any goddam choice except
to leave. I couldn't even stick around to hear old Ernie play something halfway decent. But I certainly wasn't going to sit down at a table with old Lillian Simmons and that Navy guy and be bored to death. So I left. It made me mad, though, when I was getting my coat. People are always ruining things for you.”(Salinger 87)
This passage represents the motifs of Alienation and Phoniness because Holden does not want to talk to Lillian Simmons and the Navy guy he alienates himself and leaves Ernie's, but blames having to leave on other people ruining it for him. It also represents phoniness because Holden thinks that the Navy guy is phony and then because of this Holden himself is phony due to him lying to get himself from talking to people he doesn’t like.

D is for Ducks
"You know those ducks in that lagoon right near Central Park South? That little lake? By any chance, do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over? Do you happen to know, by any chance?’ I realized it was only one chance in a million."(Salinger 60)
Depression and Anxiety
Childhood and Growing up
is for
I hate everything
Childhood and Growing up
Depression and Anxiety

"You don't like anything that's happening."
It made me even more depressed when she said that.
"Yes I do. Yes I do. Sure I do. Don't say that. Why the hell do you say that?"
"Because you don't. You don't like any schools. You don't like a million things. You don't."
"I do! That's where you're wrong--that's exactly where you're wrong! Why the hell do you have to say that?" I said. Boy, was she depressing me.
"Because you don't," she said. "Name one thing."
"One thing? One thing I like?" I said. "Okay."
The trouble was, I couldn't concentrate too hot. Sometimes it's hard to
concentrate… that was about all I could think of, though. Those two nuns I saw at breakfast and this boy James Castle I knew at Elkton Hills.

J is for
Women and Sex
Childhood and Growing Up
Depression and Anxiety
“Anyway, that’s what I was thinking about while I sat in that vomity-looking chair in the lobby. Old Jane. Every time I got to the part about her out with Stradlater in that damn Ed Banky’s car, it almost drove me crazy. I knew she wouldn’t let him get to first base with her, but it drove me crazy anyway. I don't even like to talk about it, if you want to know the truth.”(Salinger 80)

L is for
“Have just one more drink,” I told him. “Please. I’m lonesome as hell. No kidding.”He said he couldn’t do it, though... Boy I sat at that goddam bar till around one o’clock or so, getting drunk as a bastard. I could hardly see straight.(Salinger 149-150)

Depression and Anxiety
This passage represents the motif of depression because when Holden encounters problems in his life, he turns to liquor and getting drunk rather than facing the problems. This passage also shows that Holden is lonely and wants attention and when this is turned down, he turns to drinking which is common for people to turn to when people are depressed. This also represents alienation because when Holden becomes alienated, he turns to drinking.
M is for
Ms. Morrow
"Oh, how lovely! Perhaps you know my son, then, Ernest Morrow? He goes to
"Yes, I do. He's in my class."
Her son was doubtless the biggest bastard that ever went to Pencey, in the whole
crumby history of the school. He was always going down the corridor, after he'd had a shower, snapping..."He adapts himself very well to things. He really does. I mean he really knows how to adapt himself. (Salinger 54-55)
This passage represents the motif of Women and Sex and Phoniness because Holden loves women so much and wants to do please them no matter what. But in this process, Holden himself is being phony by lying about how her son actually is, “doubtless the biggest bastard”(Salinger 55). Holden is being phony himself even when that is the thing he hates most about adults.

O is for
“Then I came back, she had the pillow off her head all right--I knew she would--
but she still wouldn't look at me, even though she was laying on her back and all. When I came around the side of the bed and sat down again, she turned her crazy face the other way. She was ostracizing the hell out of me. Just like the fencing team at Pencey when I left all the goddam foils on the subway.(Salinger 166)
H is for
people shooting Hat
“He took another look at my hat while he was cleaning them[his fingernails]. “Up home we wear a hat like that to shoot deer in, for Chrissake,” he said. “That’s a deer shooting hat.”
“Like hell it is.” I took it off and looked at it. I sort of closed one eye, like I was taking aim at it. “This is a people shooting hat,” I said. “I shoot people in this hat.”(Salinger 22)

This passage represents the motif of Alienation because Holden is scaring people off by telling them that the hat he is wearing is for people shooting. This alienates him making no one want to talk to him or be around him because by saying that he is basically telling people “to get away from him” and “I hate people”.This also show’s Holden’s mental instability that he is letting others know of, because no one in their right mind would ever say that, which starts to show his depression.
Depression and Anxiety
P is for
“And then she stood up and pulled her dress over her head.
I certainly felt peculiar when she did that. I mean she did it so sudden and all. I know you’re supposed to feel pretty sexy when somebody gets up and pulls their dress over their head, but I didn’t. Sexy was about the last thing I was feeling. I felt much more depressed than sexy.
“Ya got a watch on ya, hey?”
“No. No, I don’t,” I said. Boy, was I feeling peculiar.
“What’s your name?” I asked her. All she had on was this pink slip. It was really quite embarrassing. It really was.
“Sunny,” she said. “Lets go, hey.”
“Don’t you feel like talking for a while?” I asked her.”(Salinger 95)

This passage represents the motif of Women and Sex, Depression, Childhood and Growing Up, and Alienation. This represents Women and Sex because Holden hired a prostitute. Before Holden was feeling sexy but then he wasn’t because he was depressed. And because of this Holden couldn’t go through with having sex with the prostitute and just wanted to talk, which are feelings similar to what a child would have. He also isn’t grown up enough to be able to go through with it even though he thinks he is ready. And then him just wanting to talk represents alienation because Holden is at the rock bottom wanting attention and to just talk to someone, going along with his cycle of alienation, himself and then wanting attention. Which then in the end causes the prostitute to leave furthering Holden’s alienation.
“We went up and watched the bears, on that little hill, for a while, but there wasn't much to watch. Only one of the bears was out, the polar bear. The other one, the brown one, was in his goddam cave and wouldn't come out. All you could see was his rear end. There was a little kid standing next to me, with a cowboy hat on practically over his ears, and he kept telling his father, "Make him come out, Daddy. Make him come out." I looked at old Phoebe, but she wouldn't laugh. You know kids when they're sore at you. They won't laugh or anything.”(Salinger 209)
This passage represents the motif of Childhood and Growing Up. Holden is annoyed by a extremely simple thing like only one bear being out rather than two which is the same as the little boy. But in this passage Holden looks at Phoebe to laugh at the little boy, which shows some change in Holden and him laughing at a little kid’s reaction. But Holden also really cares about how his little sister Phoebe feels about him showing his feeling of closeness to children, and him still not quite growing up. It also represents Alienation because Phoebe is alienating Holden after he was going to leave her.
Childhood and Growing Up
V is for
“I was a little nervous. 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)
This passage represents the motif of Women and Sex. Holden thinks he is great at sex like stuff and he thinks he is an expert. But in reality, Holden is still a virgin despite his thoughts.Holden is also in love with the idea of having sex, but mentally he can’t do it and he says that something always happens, which is his way of blaming it on something else. He is not able to face the fact that he is nervous to have sex so he just blames it on other things, which demonstrates the motif of Childhood and Growing Up, because he isn’t grown up enough to face the truth.
Women and Sex
Childhood and Growing Up
T is for
“I decided I'd take a room in a hotel in New York--some very inexpensive hotel and
all--and just take it easy till Wednesday. Then, on Wednesday, I'd go home all rested up and feeling swell. I figured my parents probably wouldn't get old Thurmer's letter saying I'd been given the ax till maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. I didn't want to go home or anything till they got it and thoroughly digested it and all. I didn't want to be around when they first got it. My mother gets very hysterical. She's not too bad after she gets something thoroughly digested, though. Besides, I sort of needed a little vacation. My nerves were shot. They really were.”(Salinger 51)
Childhood and Growing Up
This passage represents the motif of Alienation because Holden chooses to be by himself rather than face his mother and her hysterical reaction. This also represents the motif of Childhood and Growing Up because similar to a child, Holden can’t face his mother and the thought of getting in trouble. Which results in Holden doing a childish action by just avoiding the situation all together.

N is for
“and Romeo and Juliet and Julius--"
"Oh, Romeo and Juliet! Lovely! Didn't you just love it?" She certainly didn't
sound much like a nun.
"Yes. I did. I liked it a lot. There were a few things I didn't like about it, but it was
quite moving, on the whole."
"What didn't you like about it? Can you remember?" To tell you the truth, it was
sort of embarrassing, in a way, to be talking about Romeo and Juliet with her. I mean that play gets pretty sexy in some parts, and she was a nun and all, but she asked me, so I discussed it with her for a while.(Salinger 111)
This passage represents the motif of Women and Sex and Phoniness. Holden is phony in this passage because of the stereotype he placed on the nun even before he knew her; she would not like Romeo and Juliet. This also represents Women and Sex because Holden can’t think but help of how sexy some parts of the play is, and then Holden was embarrassed because of discussing a sexy play with an nun. Yet another part of Holden’s phoniness.

Q is for
Quite a Liar
“I mean that's my big trouble. In my mind, I'm probably the biggest sex maniac you ever saw.” (Salinger 62)
Women and Sex
Childhood and Growing Up
This passage represents the motif of Women and Sex, Phoniness, and Childhood and Growing Up. This is because Holden thinks he is really great with sex and stuff, but when in reality he isn’t. He’s still a virgin and has little experience. This is similar to a child’s thought process because he thinks he is an expert, but really isn’t because he is too scared, which also makes him phony because he is acting like someone he is not.

S is for
“Then something terrible happened just as I got in the park. I dropped old Phoebe's
record. It broke-into about fifty pieces. It was in a big envelope and all, but it broke anyway. I damn near cried, it made me feel so terrible, but all I did was, I took the pieces out of the envelope and put them in my coat pocket. They weren't any good for anything, but I didn't feel like just throwing them away.”(Salinger 154)

Childhood and Growing Up
This passage represents the motif of Childhood and Growing Up because of Holden’s reaction. When Holden realized that he broke the record, he nearly cried which is a reaction similar to how a little kid would react breaking something that is not very significant. This also represents this same motif because Holden gets upset over the record because it is for a child, who he connects with.
U is for
“but I called him back. "Can'tcha stick a little rum in it or something?" I asked
him. I asked him very nicely and all. "I can't sit in a corny place like this cold sober.
Can'tcha stick a little rum in it or something?" "I'm very sorry, sir. . ." he said, and beat it on me. I didn't hold it against him, though. They lose their jobs if they get caught selling to a minor. I'm a goddam minor.”(Salinger 70)
This passage represents the motif of Depression and Anxiety. Holden wants Alcohol because he is depressed. Alcohol is common for a drug used by depressed people and Holden uses Alcohol to try to not think about the real world and take himself out of it so she does not have to feel his depression, which also represents the motif of Alienation. When Holden is denied Alcohol because he is underage, asks again because he feels the need to get drunk so badly to escape reality.

Depression and Anxiety
“I decided I'd never go home again and I'd never go away to another school again. I decided I'd just see old Phoebe and sort of say good-by to her and all, and give her back her Christmas dough, and then I'd start hitchhiking my way out West. What I'd do, I figured, I'd go down to the Holland Tunnel and bum a ride, and then I'd bum another one, and another one, and another one, and in a few days I'd be somewhere out West where it was very pretty and sunny and where nobody'd know me and I'd get a job… I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn't have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody.”(Salinger 198)

This passage represents the motif of Alienation. Holden decides to leave New York and go out west where no one knows him and he can start a new life. A life of a deaf mute. By Holden wanting to become like this he is removing himself and alienating himself from society so he does not have to talk to people. So he can be alone and not have to deal with phony people and such. Also, Holden decides to say goodbye only to his younger sister Phoebe which represents the motif of Childhood and Growing Up. For anybody to want to live by themself and not want to talk to anybody represents depression. Nobody in their right mind would ever make a choice like this so severe.

Childhood and Growing Up
R is for
Radio City
“I stuck around for a while, apologizing and trying to get her to excuse me, but she wouldn't. She kept telling me to go away and leave her alone. So finally I did it. I went inside and got my shoes and stuff, and left without her. I shouldn't've, but I was pretty
goddam fed up by that time. If you want to know the truth, I don't even know why I started all that stuff with her. I mean about going away somewhere, to Massachusetts and Vermont and all. I probably wouldn't've taken her even if she'd wanted to go with me. She wouldn't have been anybody to go with. The terrible part, though, is that I meant it when I asked her. That's the terrible part. I swear to God I'm a madman.”(Salinger 134)

This passage represents the motif of Alienation because Holden alienates himself by saying something rude to Sally. Then Holden tries to apologize but when this doesn’t work, he just leaves without solving the problem, because he was fed up by her. Then from this Holden tries to make himself feel better by saying that he didn’t even want to go to Massachusetts with her, furthering the continuing cycle of alienation that Holden is afraid of.

B is for
"No kidding! Do you like that? Her being Chinese?"
"Why? I'd be interested to know--I really would."
"I simply happen to find Eastern philosophy more satisfactory than Western. Since you ask."
"You do? Wuddaya mean 'philosophy'? Ya mean sex and all? You mean it's better in China? That what you mean?"
"Not necessarily in China, for God's sake. The East I said. Must we go on with this inane conversation?"
"Listen, I'm serious," I said. "No kidding. Why's it better in the East?"
"It's too involved to go into, for God's sake," old Luce said. "They simply happen to regard sex as both a physical and a spiritual experience. If you think I'm--"(Salinger 146)

Women and Sex
Childhood and Growing up
A is for
“You could see the whole field from there, and you could see the two teams
bashing each other all over the place. You couldn't see the grandstand too hot, but you
could hear them all yelling, deep and terrific on the Pencey side, because practically the
whole school except me was there, and scrawny and faggy on the Saxon Hall side,
because the visiting team hardly ever brought many people with them.”(Salinger 3)
"Did you know her when you were at Whooton?"
"Hardly. She just arrived in this country a few months ago."
"She did? Where's she from?"
"She happens to be from Shanghai."
"No kidding! She Chinese, for Chrissake?"
"Obviously." (Salinger 146)
This passage represents the motif of Phoniness. Holden becomes very surprised to find out that his friend from one of his prep schools is dating a girl from China. Holden is being judgemental towards Carl Luce for this. This in reality is Holden being racist. Holden hate others acting rude and being phony but in reality, Holden is phony himself for judging Carl Luce and being racist towards the Chinese girl he is dating.

“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around--nobody big, I mean--except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff--I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all.”(Salinger 173)
Childhood and Growing Up
This passage represents the motif of Childhood and Growing Up. Besides finally explaining the title of the book, this passage gives an insight into Holden’s thoughts. Holden catching the youth before they fall over the cliff represents Holden trying to catch all of the children before they fall over the cliff into adulthood and growing up which includes becoming phony. Holden feels like he must be the protector and protect children from innocence. Holden has an oversimplified view of people which is revealed throughout the book. Holden’s fantasy also represents his disconnection with the reality of the outside world.
By: Anna Neidhart
W is for
X is for
Y is for
Z is for
This passage represents the motif of alienation because it shows Holden removing himself from society and others. He alienates himself by not going to an event that the entire school is at, but watching and not connecting with them. In the book this is one of the first glimpses we see involving the theme of alienation, and it hasn’t yet developed into the severity it becomes later in the book.

This passage represents the motif of women and sex and the motif of childhood and growing up. This is because Holden is so obsessed with sex, and he wants to learn from the experienced Carl Loose and know what is best. But, at the same time he using childhood behavior because his is acting like he’s experienced as well, when really he’s never had sex before and is just lying. This is also the childhood and growing up motif because like a little kid, Holden is stuck on and obsessed with a topic and he also can’t let it go.
Depression and Anxiety

This passage represents the motif of Phoniness because Holden is calling the headmaster of Elkton Hills phony because when he sees some parent that is rich he becomes charming to them but when he sees some other parents that looked corny, he would act phony. This also represents the motif of Depression and Anxiety because when Holden saw his headmaster being phony, it made him depressed and crazy, starting his fall into greater feelings of depression.
This passage represents the motif of childhood and growing up because Holden is stuck on the childlike question of wondering where the ducks go when the little lake in Central Park is frozen. This childlike attitude causes Holden to go as far as asking someone he doesn’t even know his taxi driver. This also represents the motif of Depression because the duck’s leaving the pond could also be symbolic with death and Holden’s questioning this could be symbolic of Holden wondering where you go when you die and him thinking about dying himself.

This passage represents the motif of Childhood and Growing up, Depression and Anxiety, and Alienation. It represents Childhood and Growing up because Holden feels like he can talk to Phoebe, a child, and when she feels like he does not like anything it makes him depressed. Which leads into the motif of depression. Holden is depressed, and talking about this subject makes him more depressed. Also, Holden alienates himself by not liking anything, only the nuns and the boy who jumps off a roof.
This passage represents the motif of Women and Sex, Childhood and Growing Up, and Depression and Anxiety because Holden is obsessed with Jane, and he can not get past childlike feelings of not being with Jane. Also, when he thinks of Jane and Stradlater, he doesn’t like it because he knows what Stradlater does with other girls in cars. This makes Holden depressed or “crazy” because he wants to be with her and the thought of Stradlater being with her drives him crazy.

Women and Sex
Women and Sex
Childhood and Growing Up
This passage represents the motif of Childhood and Growing Up and Alienation. Holden cares deeply about how his kid sister Phoebe feels about him and when she ostracizes him, it makes him feel bad. This also represents alienation because as Holden mentions similar to forgetting the foils on the subway, he alienates himself from Phoebe due to his actions.

Women and Sex
Childhood and Growing Up
Works Cited

Salinger, J D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown, 1951. Print.
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