The Catcher in the Rye
Catcher in the Rye Questions
1. Look at the language Holden uses to describe Phoebe and Allie. How does he view them? Give examples of the language he uses.
2. Look at the language Holden uses to describe the adults he encounters, especially Bernice, Marty, and Laverne. How does he view them?
3. Looking at your answers to the last two questions, what would you say is Holden’s general view of adulthood? Why is this going to be a problem for him? (Remember, he’s 17)
4. Describe Holden’s interaction with the ladies at the Lavender Room. How does his interpretation of their time together differ from their interpretation? How do you know? Give two specific examples to support your claim.
5. Shortly after he leaves the Lavender Room, Holden remembers a time he spent with Jane. Describe the memory. How accurate is Holden’s account of this memory? It is a memory, so as the readers we are not able to see Jane’s reaction first hand. What clues does Salinger give us that enable us to interpret Jane’s reaction to Holden?
6. Re-read Holden’s conversation about ducks with the cab driver on page 81-3. Why is Holden so concerned about the ducks? Metaphorically, what does this duck obsession mean?
7. Consider the metaphoric meaning of the cab driver’s explanation of the fish in Central Park. How does the cab driver’s interpretation of fish differ from Holden’s ideas about the ducks?
We may not be using these materials in class, but they are excellent resources to use when studying The Catcher in the Rye.
Have a suggestion for this list? Email Mrs. Evans.