The Catcher in the Rye - Discussion Questions

Catcher in the Rye Chapters 1-3 Discussion Questions 1. Who is telling the story? What are your impressions of the narrator? Would he be a friend of yours? Holden Caufield maybe because he seems rebellious and open 2. How much time has passed since the events in the story? What do you think is Holden’s purpose in telling the story? 7 months has passed and to make sense of everything that has happened 3. What is Pency Prep like? Why is Holden leaving? How does he feel about leaving? It is a formal prestigious private school, because he failed classes and everybody there hates him and a little bit sad . Why does Holden go to see Mr. Spencer? Why does he regret the visit? To say goodbye to him and Pency and he regrets it because he gets lectured 5. Where did Holden get his red hunting hat? Why does he wear it indoors? Do you have any “lucky” articles of clothing? He got the hat in new york, as a sign of rebellion perhaps and no 6. What kind of reading does Holden enjoy? What authors and types of stories do you enjoy? What is Holden’s criterion for a really good book? Does Catcher in the Rye meet this criterion for you? Most books besides ones he is forced to read and fantasy novels 7.

What is Holden’s opinion of Ackley? How do you suppose Ackley feels about Holden? Does Holden treat Ackley badly? Nerdy and invasive, probably finds him abit rude and yes 8. What is Stradlater like? Does he remind you of anyone you know? Does Holden Like him? Would you? He is the typical big stereotypical male and footy boy and Holden doesn’t particularly like him but doesn’t hate him too much either 9. In the first sentence of Chapter 3, Holden tells the reader, “I’m the most terrific Liar you ever saw in your life. ” Tell about a time when you told a “terrific lie” and What happened as a result? unno Catcher in the Rye Chapters 4-7 Discussion Questions 1. On page 27, Holden says, “You take a very handsome guy… and they’re always Asking you do them a big favor. ” According to him, why is this so? Do you agree? Because they love themselves and think everybody else will aswell 2. What is the favor Stradlater asks? Why do you think Holden aggress to grant the favor? To do his English homework while he goes on a date, to get to hear about the date with the girl he likes 3. What is Holden’s opinion of his own skill at writing? Do you think his selfestimate is accurate?

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What does he mean about begin annoyed when “you’re good at writing compositions and somebody starts talking about commas? ” What is a “good writer”? 4. Why does Holden nearly “Drop dead” when he learns that Stradlater is going out with Jane Gallagher? Because he has a crush on her 5. What kind of relationship did Holden have with Jane? Why do you suppose they are out of touch with each other now? Just a friendship and yes 6. What does Holden decide to do with Mal on Saturday night? Why do they invite Ackley? What does that show you about Holden? Go to the movies and because they feel bad for him and shows Holden to be thoughtful . What mental image of Allie do you have? How do you learn about Allie? When Did he die? . Why does Holden tear up the composition? What sort of grade do you suppose it would have gotten? A young little innocent boy, by Holden talking about him, about 2 years ago, because Stradlatter doesn’t appreciate it, probably a high grade 9. Why does Holden fight Stradlater? Do you think Holden is overreacting? Because of stradlatter being rude about the poem and going out with jane Gallagher 10. Why doesn’t Holden sleep in Ely’s bed in Ackley’s room instead of leaving in the middle of the night?

Cause of Ackleys so called phoniness 11. On page 52, Holden mentions that the skates his mother gave him made him sad. “Almost every time somebody gives me a present, it ends up making me sad. ” Describe a time when a present made you sad, or invent a situation that would cause you to feel this way about a gift. Catcher in the Rye Chapters 8-11 Discussion Questions 1. Who sits down next to Holden on the train? Why does he lie to her? Have you ever done anything like that? A students mum, to make her son look good and make her feel proud and no 2. In what sort of hotel does Holden stay? What sorts of “perverts” are there?

Why doesn’t he just go home? A real kind of extravagant hotel and cross dressers 3. Who is the first person Holden calls? Why do you suppose he doesn’t arrange to meet her the next day as she suggests? A prostitute and not to sure doesn’t want to wait that long perhaps 4. Who does Holden meet in the nightclub of the hotel? Why do these women depress him? Why does he spend time with them then? Three older women, because they are obsessed with movie stars 5. What is Phoebe like? How can you tell that Holden adores her? She’s intelligent and because he is always talking about how great she is . Why do you think Holden says of Allie, “She killed Allie, too,” then amends his comment to, “I mean he liked her, too”? Cause it sounds like Phoebe literally killed allie 7. Holden remembers the time Jane cried and he kissed her. Why does he think she was crying? What do you think? Because of her stepdad 8. What sort of place is Ernie’s? How does Holden know about Ernie’s? Nightclub sort of fancy environment and through D. B 9. You learn a lot about Phoebe and Holden’s tender feelings for her from the flashback on page 68. Using that passage as a model, describe someone you know.

As Holden does, begin your description: “You’d like her/ him…” Catcher in the Rye Chapters 12-14 Discussion Questions 1. What does Holden find so bothersome about the ducks in the lagoon? Where do you think the ducks go? What other evidence have you seen in the story that Holden doesn’t like change? Look for such evidence as you read the rest of the story. That they are moving on and going somewhere else and probably to warmer place 2. Why doesn’t Holden have a good time at Ernie’s? Would you enjoy such a place like that? Doesn’t like the phoniness and fakeness of everyone and maybe 3.

Why does Holden start thinking about what a coward he is? Do you think he is a coward? What would you do if you found out who had stolen your gloves? Because of his gloves and how he didn’t get them back, a little bit yes and go get them back 4. Holden talks about his “terrific capacity” for holding liquor. From what you have seen of him so far, do you think he has a drinking problem? . How does Holden end up with a prostitute in his room? Yes I think he is a depressed alcoholic 6. Why do you think he pays the prostitute and has her leave without “rendering services”? because he just wanted someone to talk to . How does Holden get beaten up? What do you think would have happened if he had pressed charges against Maurice? Why doesn’t he? Because he doesn’t pay 10 dollars to the prostitute 8. How would you have handled the situation if Maurice demanded money from you? Do you think Holden is a coward? Smack him up and nope 9. Holden tells us his daydreams about shooting Maurice after Maurice leaves his room. Tell about a time when you were hurt, and could have handled things differently. La la la Catcher in the Rye Chapters 15-17 Discussion Questions 1. What is Holden’s opinion of Sally?

Is there anyone Holden doesn’t think is phony? Do you think he would consider you phony? That she is flirty and a show off and probably not no 2. What jogs Holden’s memories of his roommate, Dick Slagle? Why did Holden put his suitcases out of sight when rooming with Dick? What does that show you about Holden? 3. How does Holden get along with the nuns? Are you surprised that Holden- who is so critical of so many people-seems to feel sympathetic toward the nuns? Pretty well and no because he sees them as genuine giving people 4. Why does Holden say money always ends up “making you blue”? Do you agree?

Do you think that he is less materialistic than most people? Than you? He is abit less materialistic but not completely 5. What present does Holden get Phoebe? Why does he think she’ll like it? A blues record kid themed but done by black raunchy singers 6. How does Holden feel when he hears the little boy singing, “If a body catch a body comin’ through the rye? ” happy because he likes the innocence 7. Why does Holden go to the museum? What does he like about the museum? Can you think of a place that you like because it never seems to change? Cause he use to have field trips there that it doesn’t change, nope . Where does Holden go with Sally that afternoon? Why? Where do they go afterwards? Why? To a theater then ice skating 9. Why do Holden and Sally fight? Do you side more with Holden or with Sally? Because Holden begins to get weird and clingy and sally calls his ideas dumb which enrages him and more sally’s 10. Holden admits that he probably wouldn’t have taken Sally on the trip even if she had agreed to go. Why did he ask her then? Probably just to see if she had been willing 11. On page 118, Holden describes how depressed he is in the park : “It didn’t seem at all like Christmas was coming soon. Pretend that you are Holden and write a blues poem about how you feel as you pass the old men in the park. Catcher in the Rye Chapters 18-20 Discussion Questions 1. Why does Holden call Carl Luce, whom he admits he doesn’t like very much? How des their get-together go? . Why doesn’t Holden like the movie at Radio City Music Hall? Is it something that you would like? 3. Why does Holden consider the woman crying next to him a hypocrite? Do you think he is being heartless? 4. Why does Holden say he’s “sort of glad they got the atomic bomb invented” ? What war has just ended? What other semi-suicidal references has Holden made?

Do you think he is depressed enough to kill himself? That the war got stopped and world war 2 and about being shot by a firing squad and yes maybe 5. Holden considers Hemingway’s Lit. Henry a “phony”. What other literary characters do you think Holden would brand “phony”? 6. Drunk, Holden calls Sally. What effects does his call have on her? If you were his friend, what effect would it have on you? Makes her angry and make me not want to talk to them ever again 7. What happens to Phoebe’s record? Why do you think Salinger includes that detail? He drops and breaks it and so it shows he messes things up 8.

Why didn’t Holden go to his brother’s funeral? Why do you think Salinger gives you information about Allie little bit by little bit- rather than all at once? What does that show you about Holden’s thoughts and feelings? Because he broke a garage window with his bare hands and to slowly reveal Holden breaking down 9. How does Holden feel when he visits Allie’s grave on a stormy day? Do you think his morbid thoughts about Allie under the ground are “normal”? Have you ever experienced anything like that? Disgusted and sad and no and no 10. Where does Holden go after leaving the park? Why? He goes home cause his low on money 1. Write a letter to Holden telling him why you do or do not agree with his opinion of how girls treat guys with inferiority complexes. Catcher in the Rye Chapters 21-23 Discussion Questions 1. What does Holden mean when he says, “All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they’ll do practically anything you want them to”? Do you agree? That if people don’t know what your talking about they can assume your right and only sometimes this works and I agree 2. What do Phoebe’s belongings tell you about her? That’s she’s smart and sophisticated 3. How does Phoebe react to the return of her brother?

Very excited overjoyed 4. Why does Phoebe want the broken pieces of the record, do you suppose? Have you ever felt anything like that? Just for the thought of it 5. What is Holden’s response when Phoebe asks why he got “axed” at yet another school? Do you think he is being truthful? Try’s to explain it to her and yes 6. When Phoebe challenges him to name one thing he likes, what does he answer? Why does he have such a hard time remembering? He names his dead brother 7. Who is James Castle? Why do you think Holden starts remembering James now? Why do you think Holden thinks of James the same time he thinks of the nuns?

What do they have in common? A kid who committed suicide 8. What careers does Holden reject as unsuitable for him? In what career do you think he would be happy and productive? What does Holden say he would like to be? What does that show you about him? As a teacher or something and a catcher in the rye 9. Who is Mr. Antolini? Why do you think Holden plans to stay with Mr. Antolinio for a few days rather than with his own parents? 0. You are Holden. Write an entry in your journal a few hours after James Castle dies. A English teacher at his old school and because he got kicked out of school and doesn’t want to face them

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