Place your blogs for Chapters 15-18 here.
The more we read, the weirder Holden gets. I feel like he isn’t all there or something. He rambles on and on and on about the dumbest things and he always says the wrong things to girls. I feel like this might be the reason why he thinks everyone is a phony. Holden is not afraid to say what he feels even if it is the dumbest thing, nobody else really does that. I think Holden just says whatever pops up on his mind…for example, the duck thing. Who just brings stuff like that into conversation?! It’s weird.
As you are contemplating Holden, consider that an author is like an architect. He doesn’t just throw a plot together, otherwise the novel falls apart, just like a building would if it wasn’t carefully planned. So why does Salinger “build” Holden as he does? What is he trying to tell the reader through Holden’s weirdness?
I feel as if Salinger is trying to gradually build up Holden’s character to reveal the reason why he is currently in a mental facility. Each story Holden tells adds to this building, and when the building is complete than the answer will be revealed. Holden’s weirdness helps to tell the readers what Holden is upset about, leaving a question of the possibility of that problem leading him to his current situation.
I agree Brooke. I think that every story Holden is telling us gives us a little piece of the puzzle as to why he is in the mental institution. I also feel that we are going to find out why very soon.
I feel like Salinger is building up theses stories, so that he can show us over time what has caused Holden to enter a mental hospital. I think that very soon the foreshadowing of the boy singing ” If a body catch a body coming through the rye” is about to come into play. I think that what ever is being foreshadowed is the real reason that Holden is in the hospital.
I feel that Holden doesn’t know how to talk to girls. I am thinking this because he is so awkward around most women. And yes he does mention random stuff a lot. Like when him and Sally were talking and he said something about running off together. There is definitely something wrong with him and I hope we find out soon.
That is a very good point, Holden is very awkward and outspoken with girls. Whatever comes to mind, he says it. It does not matter if it is logical or not, Holden will say it without hesitation.
Yeah I don’t know what he was thinking when he asked Sally to run off with him. I mean who would do that. Its one thing to do that but to do it with Holden you have to really hate your home life because he is pretty much crazy! How would he survive? He changes his mind a lot and is really confusing me. He left boarding school because he was going to get kicked out because of his bad behavior. He acted bad so he could get kicked out and go back home because he missed it so much. Then he does not go straight home for some reason and now he is thinking about just running away. He does not make any sense at all with some of the things he does.
Amanda I thought that same thing. I feel like he doesn’t know how to talk girls at all, and I feel like he doesn’t care to either. Holden always mentions random things. I feel like there is a lot more going on than he is telling us and I want to find out.
I don’t think that he doesn’t know how.. I think it’s more that he doesn’t know the way to. He seems very awkward and tried to talk to women older than him too which may be a huge factor. I think the thing about running off with Sally was mostly an urge of the moment. He was having a good time and wanted nothing more than to get away which is why he hasn’t been home yet. At the moment it seemed like a plausible idea to him.
I agree with you Nicole Holden does ramble on. He also repeats himself a lot as well. He kept saying that he was a madman because of some of the things he was saying to Sally, like running away.
A very good point, Sabrina! I noticed that in this reading he claims that he is crazy or a madman quite often. Does this mean that something is about to happen to prove this?!
We might be at the point in the book where we find out why Holden was put in the mental institution Nicole.
I feel by the end of the book or if not sometime soon we will find out whole Holden really is and what is wrong with him. Maybe there isn’t anything wrong with him maybe he is just mentally hurt from his brothers death and that is why he is so weird and does the things that he does.
I agree Nicole, Holden is saying the most unexpected things that do not relate to anything. Holden calls everyone phony but yet I would call him the biggest phony of them all!
Yes I agree he is very weird. He rambles on and on about the dumbest things and like you said he does not know how to talk to people. He thinks everyone is phony which makes no sense. When you think that many people are phony then is anyone really even phony? He definitely makes the story interesting by his willingness to say whatever he feels but it shows his weirdness.
Holden seems to have a side of him that enjoys making people mad when he is in the moment. After the moment has passed, he seems very depressed that he has hurt someone emotionally, Why does he enjoy doing this?
I agree with you Dallas but maybe the reason he can’t talk to people, calls everybody phonies and says things that make no sense is because there is something wrong with him. He’s definitely got something wrong with him mentally.
I agree with you Nicole, Holden is definitely a weird one! He does ramble on about unimportant things, which makes you wonder what is wrong with him upstairs. I feel like it would be very hard to hold a normal conversation with him, while staying interested at the same time. Maybe he does have a mental condition, or maybe he is just an awkward person to hold a conversation with, who likes to talk about anything that crosses his mind.
I agree Nicole. As the book goes on, Holden rambles about nonsense. The way he talks to girls makes me upset. When he is talking to Sally about the whole situation with them running away together, she turns him down. He was so excited and tried to keep convincing her to go through with it.. but she wouldn’t. Shortly after, Holden starts to get a bit snippy with her. On page 133, “No, therewouldn’t be. There wouldn’t be oodles of places to go to at all. It’d be entirely different,” Holden said. He then goes on with the paragraph talking about how they would be working in som office and riding to work in cabs and Madison Avenue buses. He goes from being lovey to her, to yelling at her because she won’t go with him. She knows what’s best for her. I’m still not sure what is wrong with Holden, but I cannot wait to find out because it’s getting confusing!
Holden does ramble about a lot of pointless crap! The way he talks to girls seriously makes my stomach turn. About the whole running away thing, she turns him down. NO means NO in my book, and he just kept on asking her. When he yells at her that isn’t right. She is doing what is best for her and she feels right and obviously it ain’t Holden. I want to know what is wrong with him so bad! I can’t wait to find out.
I agree that Holden is a weird character who often says whatever pops into his mind even if its the most pointless thing in the world like the ducks. This trait also gets him in a lot of trouble sometimes. Like when he blows up on Sally Hayes or when he gets into the fight with Stradlater. Most people tend to censor themselves when speaking but not Holden.
I feel like Holden is just a strait forward person about some things but I also think he is kind of a hypocrite. When he talk’s about things it seems like he will contradict what he has said about other people in the past.
In the book Holden refers back to his past as a child, when he would go to the museum all the time with his class. He says the only things that would change every time they went, was the children’s appearance and who was present at the time. Each time his class went to the museum, they would be wearing a different piece of clothing, or would have a different partner in line. “I mean you’d be different in some way-I can’t explain what I mean” (Salinger 122). When Holden refers to his past and says this comment, I wonder what he is trying to say. Is he trying to say that everyone’s appearance changes and they eventually mature, but they will always be the same person?
Holden is trying to say that everyone changes and do not stay the same throughout the course of their life. Everyone cannot be the same or have the same personality through their life.
Greg that what I was thinking. As we mature we change and become different people. We may not change everything about us but in some ways we do change.
Greg this is well said! He does mention something about how throughout life we change and don’t stay the same. If everyone was the same throughout life, it would be boring. People are different for a reason.
I agree Greg, everyone changes in one way or another for many reasons. He has changed because of his brother, Allie, and his death. Holden is not dealing with it well at all and you can tell from earlier chapters he still thinks about it. Because of Allie’s death Holden has changed. Because Holden was sent off to boarding school he has changed. He wants nothing more than to be treated as an adult while he’s still immature.
Why do you think Holden hates war so much and rather be shot than to look at peoples necks? Do you think something happened in his past with a family member or someone close?
I think Holden hates the ideal of war and fighting, because of what his brother had told him. “He once told Allie that if he’d had to shoot anybody, he wouldn’t’ve know which direction to shoot in. He said the Army was practically as full of bastards as the Nazis were” (Salinger 140).
I thought about that too. About what his brother told him about the war and how he didn’t like it since his brother talked about it. The army was full bastards and Nazis this is what he had said, and this is why Holden has his views about the war and fighting.
I think Holden really does not like the idea of taking a persons life with a gun or anything. He has been hurt by the loss of family and I think that is what influences his thinking the most.
I agree it is very strange that he would say such a thing but I think it all goes back to the fact that somethings wrong with him or that maybe he just doesn’t like the idea of war.
When Holden brings up running away with Sally, he is very excited about the whole idea. However, when Sally says that they will have plenty of time to do stuff like that after college, Holden gets really upset and depressed again. He claims that it will be entirely different after college. He goes on a rant about why it would not be the same. He discusses many things such as riding in elevators with big suit cases, working in an office, reading newspapers and going to the movies. Why does Holden make such a big deal out of these things? Why is he so upset by the things that adults in the real world do?
Holden isn’t ready to grow up. He wants to be a kid his whole life. I mean everyone is afraid of those things sooner or later no one wants those responsibilities. Like someone has said before he is a little kid in a grown mans body.
This is interesting, Nicole. You bring up the fact that Holden says that it would be ruined if they were adults. That’s something to really consider while reading this novel. Why would it be ruined in Holden’s mind?
I think that in Holden’s mind, getting older is a bad thing and that you loose all of your innocence. I believe that he is afraid of what he will become or of becoming like his father when he is older. Getting older would ruin the whole idea of running away because as an adult you have more responsibilities.
I don’t think that Holden wants to marry Sally. He just wants to get away from everything that is going on and he doesn’t want to face reality. Holden is still avoiding his parents. I’m sure that they would rather have him home than running around New York.
I agree Stephen, this whole idea of running away is just another way Holden is trying to avoid his parents. He said that Sally is a phony, and he hates phonies, so his idea is not because he loves her and wants to run away together. The truth of the matter is that Holden is afraid to face the world and become an adult. He is to afraid to deal with his parents and the punishments that come with them.
I never even thought about Holden trying to avoid his parents. I think that this could be the reason why he is thinking about all of these ideas. Holden probably thinks that his parents will send him away again and that he will try to drop out or fail out.
I agree with you Stephen. I don’t think he wants to marry Sally he just wants to get away from all the bad things that has happened. Then again I kind of think he just wants to be home and be with his family if his parents accept him and don’t send him off to another boarding school. His life has been pretty rough I mean getting sent to boarding school at his age I know I wouldn’t have wanted to do that. He hardly gets to see his family, Allie died and then he is all lonely because the people he likes are not with him. He is lonely but then yet he calls everyone a phony so he does not like to get to know many people because he thinks that. He has a few people in his circle that he trusts and really likes. In my mind those people are Jane, Phoebe, Sally and then maybe Luce from Wooten even though there conversation wasn’t very good at least he liked talking to them though.
Maybe Holden is afraid to grow up, knowing that when someone becomes an adult they have less time in their lives to do things they want to do. He wants to runaway and not have to worry about anything, not having to preform the same routine that everyday people have. He wants to stay young and free, this is why all these things upset him about the real world and life as an adult.
I think you are right on that I do think Holden is afraid of growing up and actually having to do something everyday that he does not like. He can barely take going to school and passing a class let alone working and paying any sort of bills.
I think that Holden has some type of internalized fear of growing up and all the responsibilities that it comes with. He talks about how running away would be different when the are older. I feel like he means that they will have changed and it wouldn’t have the same feeling if they would run away as kids. Its like he sees becoming an adult as becoming this sort of bland thing that works and does phony things.
Holden definitely has fear of growing up. He still hasn’t told his parents about how he failed out of boarding school. He is avoiding them in every way possible. In my opinion, he is acting childish about the whole situation. It is possible that Holden might be afraid of growing up. He gets upset when he thinks about the real world and life as an adult. I am curious to see what Holden is going to do next in the story.
Good point Anna. I still can’t figure out why he doesn’t just go home and tell his parents. Thats the reason he flunked out of Pencey is because he was lonely. He missed his family and Jane. Then he leaves there and does not go see them. It doesn’t make any sense. I also agree with you on how he is afraid of growing up. He wants to act like he is grown by drinking and smoking cigarettes but really everything he does is childish.
I think Holden knows he’s different and in a way I think he’s kind of afraid for his future and what he’s going to do with his life. I think he knows that after failing and dropping out of so many schools I think he knows that he’ll have a hard time in life with normal things. He doesn’t know how to be a grown up and has no desire to try.
Holden calls everyone a phony but when he sees little kids he is very nice to them. When Holden asks the little girl if she knew Phoebe and helps her with her skate, then asks her if she would like to have hot chocolate with him. This shows how Holden finds kids innocent and doesn’t think that they could do anything wrong. This is also kind of creepy because he is a stranger to the girl and he is asking her to have hot chocolate with him.
I think Holden might do this because he cherishes his childhood and innocence of being a child more than anything. Notice the way he talks of Phoebe, Jane and Allie. Children are pure and are not corrupted by the things of the real world yet. I think he sees this and wants more than anything the be a child again and not have a care in the world. Holden tries to act like an adult, and it doesn’t really work out for him. People are always rejecting him and being mean.
I find it very odd that Holden says he couldn’t stand it if he had to go to war. He says, “It wouldn’t be bad if they’d just take you out and shoot you or something, but you have to stay in the Army so long.” It’s weird that he would rather be shot than fight for his life during war. He also says, “I swear if there’s ever another war, they better just take me out and stick me in front of a firing squad.”
Maybe Holden says all of this because he wants to find the easiest way out of it possible. He could just be looking for an easy way around the obstacle. Maybe this could be a reason as to why Holden calls so many people phonies and is so quick to judge them. He does not want to take the time to get to know someone he does not want to know.
Now that I look at it, Holden does seem to always take the easy way out. He didn’t like boarding school, so he failed out on purpose. That is definitely taking the easy way out. Also, he didn’t want to tell his parents that he failed out. He refuses to talk to them.
I found this very odd too. I think that a man would want to help out his country. I find it very weird to that Holden says that it is so bad that you have to stay in the army for so long.
Does anyone else see that there are certain triggers that set holden off and there are certain things that make him extremely happy? When he sees rich people or people who are full of themselves he will criticize them and most likely call them phonies but when he sees someone who is humble or poor or innocent looking he becomes extremely happy.
Holden is the type of person who doesn’t want to be set apart from everyone, not wanting to come off as a snob who is better than everyone else just because of his families wealth. He admires people who act like a typical human being, laying low and not try to be someone their not. I believe that is why he calls certain people phonies and criticizes them.
There seems to be ways around, too. Sally is a phony but he doesn’t get too upset by it because she is so good looking. And didn’t he say that the nuns made him depressed? Not so much the nuns, but he felt like he should’ve given them more.
Holden sees majority of people as phonies it seems like and that makes him frustrated because he cannot stand that. Although he sees Sally as a phony he still goes on a date with her because of how good looking she is. That kind of makes him forget that he thinks she is phony. When he sees humble or poor people I feel that makes him happy because right away he would assume that they are not a phony and he can talk to them and have a conversation.
I do see this in Holden, and I have been wondering why he does that. It does not make any sense why he makes fun of rich people and calls them phonies. Half the of the people he makes fun of are more then likely very nice people. Then when he sees a poor person he feels very happy. He doesn’t feel bad for them he just gets happy. I don’t understand why Holden is this way.
Holden is not a normal person but I also think that maybe he’s been around the rich and high life style for his whole life and he is just tired of it. He knows how the people are and thinks there all phonies. So when he’s sees someone who isn’t in the high and rich class it makes him happy because it’s something different than his life.
Why did Holden become so agitated and angry at the park? He calls Sally a ‘Royal pain in the ass” but i doubt it was Sally who really started his outburst of anger. I feel like this has been leading up since he got kicked out of Pencey and he finally let it all out on Sally who was the final trigger to set him off with all her “phoniness”.
I feel like Holden has a lot of pent up anger and it all comes out on Sally. He probably didn’t mean it towards her.
Another thing that added to his anger was the whole Maurice thing too. Remember how angry he was? He made up a whole fantasy of getting shot and then coming back around to shoot Maurice back in the elevator. He even thought about wiping the gun!
Yeah then right after he said that he started saying he was sorry like thirty times then she wouldn’t accept his apology so he said something else to make matters even worse its like he has no sense of what he is saying some times.
I feel like with the conversation he had with Sally, Holden just wants to get away from everyone and everything. He wants someone to be with him, so thats why he asked Sally, but she rejected. Since, Holden did not get what he wanted he just blew up not really meaning to say what he did. Holden has had so much building up inside of him for awhile now and since the whole running away with Sally did not go as he planned he just let his anger release not caring how it affected her. Holden, seems like he gets ahead of himself sometimes and whatever he is thinking just comes out before he knows it and thats why he kept apologising.
Does anyone else see how short of a temper Holden has and how quick he is to judge people. Like he can go from one minute thinking you are an alright guy to wanting to punch you in the face or you can be talking to him for like 2 seconds and he thinks your a phony. Pretty much if he doesn’t like you your a phony.
Yeah, everyone is a phony in his eyes it seems like. Even the actors, he goes on a big thought process about how they are good actors, but they are too good, which makes them bad…???
Yeah I don’t get that then Sally saw her ex boyfriend and he immediately thinks o well he is a phony without even talking to the guy then they started to talk then Holden just hated the guy. Then he got mad at Sally for talking to him and thought that Sally was a phony!
Holden does have a very short temper. He always calles people phonies. What I don’t understand is how is he so good with those kids in chapter 16. He isn’t judgemental about them, he helps the little girl tighten her skate and offers her hot chocolate.
I noticed that to Brittney but I think it has to do with the fact that they remind him of Phoebe so he never says anything bad about them and helps them.
Your absolutely right Brittney. Holden is so rude to almost every adult he talks to. He seems to be in a bad mood all the time. Then we see him with little children and he is the nicest guy in the world. He helps this little girl and offers her hot chocolate. He also buys a gift her his little sister. There is something about little kids that makes Holden happy and calm.
This could be something like Pick said. He’s having a lot of build up on things happening to him lately and this is the first time we actually see him physically expressing it.
He blows up on Sally, too. Usually he just says that kind of stuff in his head. I don’t think we have seen him say it out loud like that.
Holden complains about war and fighting in chapter 18. But why does he say at the end of chapter 18 that he is glad that the atomic bomb was invented. He said if there was another war he would volunteer to sit right on top of the atomic bomb. Im a little confused.
You know when holden was being all cocky and talked about sex and doing things to gals? Yeah he wouldn’t do any of that stuff. I think he is doing the same thing here. Just blowing smoke.
Yeah, he doesn’t seem like the fighting type. But he had that fantasy about shooting Maurice, which is pretty violent.
Throughout the book Holden calls people “phonies” but so far he seems to big the biggest phony of everyone else in the book.
Throughout the book so far, Holden has always admired younger kids. He ways seems like he puts them before himself. He gives us evidence of treating younger kids with kidness and seems to care for them a lot. He helps the younger girl with her skates at the park and even asks her to get a hot chocolate with him, but she doesn’t. When the two kids are plaing on the seasaw. He admires Pheobe the most. When he finally got to the museum, he wouldn’t even go in. He says, “If Peobe’d been there, I probably would have, but she wasn’t.” I want to know why Holden seems to have that sensitive and caring side to him when it comes to children?
I think that this might lead back with the whole phony thing. Kids aren’t really “phony” at least not so young. They are just kids and their parents are the ones that are phonies. I think this is why Holden likes kids so much. He doesn’t find them to be phony, although he really hasn’t come out and said it yet.
Exactly! I can really see that being the case with him. Kids really aren’t afraid to be themselves.
I think Holden likes kids because to him they are not phony. There really is not much for him to judge about kids either because they are so young. This is one of those factors that makes Holden happy and not so depressed.
That’s true. I think that since these kids are still innocent and young and not phonies maybe he is trying to protect them? He wants to catch these kids and protect them before they fall. It seems like Holden has two different views of the world. The adulthood where he calls everyone phonies and then the life of a child where everything seems to be innocent, young and care free. It seems like he is trying to protect these kids before society hits them.
Holden sees the innocence in young kids. He thinks of them as innocent and nice, just like he remembers Jane. Kids are the only people that Holden doesn’t call phony.
Maybe his difference in attitude towards kids is because he might possibly feel as is they havn’t been able to do anything in life to make them phonies.
Yeah, they are still young and innocent.
Holden seems like the kind of person I wouldnt want to be around. I feel bad for the guy because he is either always real happy or really depressed and I think it might because he is starting to freak out about his future and what he is going to do with his life, not to mention he is already not so mentally stable. He doesnt have a job, he keeps getting kicked out of school and his social skills can definitly be worked on.
He seems like he is getting to the point where he can’t hold it in anymore. Everything just makes his depressed or annoyed or whatever. It seems like the only things that doesn’t make his feel negatively is Phoebe.
If he had positive people around him he might be different. He does not have the support that he needs to have. He is a young boy who has gone through a lot already and has the novel is progressing we continue to find out more that has happened to him. How would you be if you were in his shoes?
Yeah he definitely has a lot to work on if he was going to get a job because he would not make a very good cashier or anything to do with social working. He also has already messed up his education at this point it would be really hard for him to actually be able to go back to college or anything because he does not have enough drive or knowledge.
I think Holden does not like older people because older people lie. If someone is good that something Holden bring them drown and call them a phonies. Maybe he blames the Doctors for not save his brother. Holden like young kids because young kids don’t lie to older people and young kids are not good that anything. That why Holden like them and of his brother that he lost. That why holden take care of young kid and doesn’t call them phonies and hate older people and call them phonies.
I think Holden is very depressed because he lost his brother. His mother and father seem like they don’t care as much about Holden. He goes to a private school but he keeps getting kicked out of them and his parents keep sending him to new ones so they obviously don’t care much. He has few friends and the only people he knows he treats like crap. He wants to talk to people that he doesn’t even know, which shows how lonely he really is. He wants to drink because he wants to get over the pain of losing his brother.
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