Catcher In the Rye study guide- Naughtin

about the author
– Born 1/1/1919 – served in WWII
– very reclusive
– “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” – tells of the suicide of a despairing war veteran
– “For Esme – With Love and Squalor” – US Soldiers encounter with two British children
-“Ocean Full of Bowling Balls” – Vincent (D.B.) recalls relationship with deceased younger brother Kenneth (basis for Allie)
-“The Last of the Peter Pans” – narrated by Vincent (D.B) focuses on a conversation between Vincent and his actress mother
-“Last Day of the Last Furlough” Vincent (D.B) and Babe Gladwaller prepare to go off to WWII
– ” Slight Rebellion Off Madison” – source of chapter in which Holden tries to convince Sally to run away with him to New England
“The Sandwich has No Mayonnaise”
“I’m Crazy”

“The Sandwich has No Mayonnaise”
narrated by Vincent Caulfied – D.B. Caulfield
learns that is brother is missing from Pentey (Pencey) Prep School

“I’m Crazy”
forms the basis for the first two chapters of the CITW as well as the chp where Holden goes home to see Phoebe. In this story though Holden expresses greater regret for his expulsion from Pentey (Pencey)

Holden Caulfield
The protagonist and narrator of the novel

Phoebe Caulfield
Phoebe is Holden’s ten-year-old sister, whom he loves dearly. Although she is 6 years younger than Holden, she listens to what he says and understands him more than most other people do.

Allie Caulfield
Holden’s younger brother who died three years earlier of leukemia. Bright, sensitive, and exceptional. Wrote poetry on his baseball mitt.

D.B. Caulfield
holden’s older brother in Hollywood, wrote a book of short stories, secret goldfish, prostitutes himself by writing for movies

Jane Gallagher
– going out w/Stradlater
– she is a madonna figure to Holden
– holden cannot get her out of his mind

Faith Cavendish
– doesn’t know her
– she is “easy” in Holden’s mind
– she says no
– ***** figure

Lilian Simens
– knows holden
– asks about D.B.

Sally Hayes
– went around w/ her while he was in New York
– described her as “easy”
– Holden calls her bc he doesn’t care about her that much so he wouldn’t care about her opinions
– ***** figure

Mr. Spencer
– Holden’s history teacher at Pencey Prep
– a character that confronts Holden
~ Holden discredits him by saying he’s old, wears a bathrobe, smells like Vicks Vapor Rub

Ward Stradlater
-Holden’s roommate at Pencey
– dates Jane Gallagher
– handsome and popular
– slob and superficial
– holden criticizes him because he is jealous
– Jane is a possession symbolically (goldfish)

Robert Ackley
-Holden does not like him
-criticizing Ackley tells us that Holden is feeling insecure
– how he treats Ackley is is how an immature person would act; do something the person hates to get them to go away

Mrs. Morrow
– the first person holden does’t know
– the conversation is a lie
– b/c he is uncomfortable w/himself
– her son go to Pencey Prep

Lillian Antolini
– wife of Mr. Antolini
– serves Holden food when he visits and doesn’t let him look at her bc she’s tired and had no makeup on
– doesn’t take much part in the story

Mr. Antolini
*[he’s not a pedophile, let’s make that clear]*
-Holden’s favorite teacher from Elkton Hills
– one of the characters to confront Holden
~ Holden discredits him by saying he’s a pervert and a flit
– pats Holden on the head in a fatherly way

Mr. Vinson
– speech teacher at Pencey Prep
– wants students to simplify and unify but never digress

James Castle
– killed himself bc he didn’t want to take the name he called someone back
– jumped out a window

Maurice
– elevator guy that punched Holden in the gut for the $5 extra that Sunny charged

Sunny
– the young prostitute Holden called at Edmont Hotel

Bernice, Marty, and Laverne
– the 30 something tourists that Holden met in the Lavender Room

Horwitz
– cab driver
– takes Holden to Ernie’s Nightclub
– had the duck and fish conversation w/ Holden

Ernie
– pianist at Greenwich Village

Charlene
– the Caulfields’ maid

Ossenburger
– a wealthy Pencey Prep alum
– Ossenburger Hall is named after him (Holden lives in that dorm)

protagonist
– Main character
– Holden Caulfied

frame story
– a story within a story
– the outside story is far smaller than the inside
– outside – holden tells his story to a therapist
– inside – how he got there

satire
-Purpose of satire is to change human behavior
-critical – uses humor, parody, comedy to take the sting out of something
-criticizes youth (Holden) or the world where the youth lives (want to change him)

quest narrative
– most ancient
– about a search for something
– holden is searching for himself

stream of consciousness
a style of writing that portrays the inner (often chaotic) workings of a character’s mind.

point of view – first person limited
– narrators thoughts and feelings
– can’t trust narrator
– when he is critical of himself we can start to trust the narrator

symbol
An object or action in a literary work that means more than itself, that stands for something beyond itself.

motif
A recurring subject, theme, or idea in a literary work.

verbal irony
A figure of speech in which what is said is the opposite of what is meant

situational irony
An outcome that turns out to be very different from what was expected

foreshadowing
A warning or indication of a future event – At the beginning of the novel, Holden hints that he has been hospitalized for a nervous breakdown, the story of which is revealed over the course of the novel.

allusion
-A brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance.
– allusion to Diken’s character says his path will not tell you anything

red hunting cap
a symbol of his uniqueness and individuality. The hat is outlandish, and it shows that Holden desires to be different from everyone around him. At the same time, he is very self-conscious about the hat—he always mentions when he is wearing it, and he often doesn’t wear it if he is going to be around people he knows. The presence of the hat, therefore, mirrors the central conflict in the book: Holden’s need for isolation versus his need for companionship.

the park
childhood innocence, purity amidst very corrupt city, escape reality, nostalgia, permanence

the ducks
Holden is terrified by the idea of change and disappearance. The ducks vanish every winter, but they return every spring, thus symbolizing change that isn’t permanent, but cyclical.

the winter
death

the seasons
change/growth

Pencey Prep
symbolizes things that youth hate the most
– follow rules, conformity

Allie’s glove
represents innocence and goodness

unmade phone calls
failed connection, isolation, escaping reality

museums
the symbolic meaning of the museum’s displays: they appeal to him because they are frozen and unchanging. He also mentions that he is troubled by the fact that he has changed every time he returns to them.

mummies
permanence, preserving the past

movies
allow one to escape reality physically and mentally
Holden loves them and hate them b/c they are not real

the rye (holden’s version)
Holden overhears a little kid singing, “If a body catch a body coming through the rye.” For just a second, it makes him feel not so depressed, in part because Holden is a fan of little children

the cliff
Saving from falling from innocence

the rye (poem)
Holden imagines a field of rye perched high on a cliff, full of children romping and playing. He says he would like to protect the children from falling off the edge of the cliff by “catching” them if they were on the verge of tumbling over.

the kiss (poem)
– always wet and is seldom dry, meaning life sucks and it’s seldom good

getting wet (poem)
– obstacles

crying (poem)
– extreme emotion
– can be happy tears or sad tears it’s your choice

“Little Shirley Beans” Album
innocence and purity, to reinforce phoebe’s “childishness”, singer isn’t phony; record Holden bought for Phoebe

Erasing profanity
preserving childhood innocence

getting drunk
it’s an escape

the carousel
On the carousel, there is movement, but the carousel never actually goes anywhere.

What elements demonstrate that this is like a book of short stories?
They have different plots, and sometimes the same word is spelled different ways

What are some of the characteristics that Holden shares with youth
Immature qualities
– distrust/contempt of adults
– distaste for sell outs
– insecure
– illogical
– self destructive/masochistic
– isolation/alienation

What do Holden’s judgments say about him
– he’s immature
– doesn’t like confrontation

Explain the irony present in the symbols of the hunting cap and the museum
Holden wears the hat to unique but he’s not being unique at all everyone has a red hat
– he says the museum is unchanging, but that he keeps changing

What do we mean when we say Holden suffers from the Peter Pan syndrome?
‘Peter Pan’ syndrome is where people are unwilling to grow up. They are attached to their youth. They choose not to face the responsibilities of adults. Holden Claufield finds it difficult to come to terms with taking the step to adulthood. He avoids responsibility and associates himself with youth. As a result Holden is a classic example of ‘Peter pan’ syndrome. Holden dislikes adults and always refers to them as phoney’s

What do we mean when we say Holden suffers from Madonna complex
Holden Caulfield, the main character in The Catcher in the Rye, suffers from a Madonna/whores complex, meaning he can only see women in two ways; as perfect and innocent or as dirty whores, without any ground in between.

How does Holden show his self destructive/suicidal tendencies
– dreams about jumping out of windows and his own funeral

Why does Holden constantly think about the ducks at the park
Holden is terrified by the idea of change and disappearance. The ducks vanish every winter, but they return every spring, thus symbolizing change that isn’t permanent, but cyclical.

How does Holden misinterpret the poem and what does it really mean
Holden wants to be “the catcher in the rye,” standing by the edge of a cliff and keeping children, playing in an adjacent field of rye, from falling off.

Explain Holden’s veiwpoint on maturity, including the explanation of a catcher in the rye, what he feels about adults like his brother, and what he attempts to do in New York to become mature
– catcher in the rye: he wants to be one bc they’re protectors of youth and innocence
– what he feels about adults like D.B.: he thinks they’re phony sellouts
– what he attempts to do to become mature: ?

How does Holden demonstrate that he has yet to grow
– still discredits people
– wants to be like James Castle: jump out a window instead of not calling people “morons”

How does Holden demonstrate that he is growing
– gives Phoebe his red hunting cap, sign of maturing [Phoebe gives it back, sign that Holden still has yet to find himself]
– tells the therapist that he regrets telling his story bc he misses the people in it showing that he cares [sign that he might’ve grown, but hasn’t at the same time]