Catcher in the Rye, Chapters 4 - 9

The mini-book club, including myself and my dear, dear friend, has grown by one!

Now *that* is progress.

Here’s our newest member.

Her name is Ally. Short for Ally Cat.

Guess what? Cats L-O-V-E Cather in the Rye. {Ally loves the tasty aesthetics of it, you could say…}

Here are the yay/nay/gray thoughts of today:

Yay:

I genuinely think that Holden likes writing. If he didn’t, then he would never get in the “mood” he’s always talking about to get around to writing up the composition for Stradlater.

I do not support or condone cheating. It is morally wrong. But I liked seeing this development for Holden. It made me connect with Holden when he wrote about “Old Allie’s baseball mitt” (39). Holden could, obviously, be lying. But there really did seem to be something genuine when Holden explains his reactions to Allie dying of leukemia.

He says that his parents “were going to have me psychoanalyzed and all, because I broke all the windows in the garage. I don’t blame them. I really don’t. I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it. I even tried to break all the windows on the station wagon we had that summer, but my hand was already broken and everything that time, and I couldn’t do it. It was a very stupid thing to do, I’ll admit, but I hardly didn’t even know I was doing it, and you didn’t know Allie. My hand still hurts me once in a while, wen it rains and all, and I can’t make a real fist any more – not a tight one, I mean – but outside of that I don’t care much. I mean I’m not going to be a goddam surgeon or violinist or anything anyway” (38-39).

This is a very, very long sentence.

But it’s this scene that makes me want to keep reading.

Nay:

When Holden decides to leave the school in the middle of the night and screams down the hallway to wake everyone up, I found more classic comments in the margin: “inhumane” and “pettiness.”

Yeah. I could see pettiness there for sure.

So chapters 1 – 7 focus on Holden in school.

The beginning of chapter eight appears to mark the beginning of Holden going out on his own.

In chapter eight, Holden starts talking to Mrs. Morrow, who is the mother of Ernie (a kid Holden doesn’t like from school, but Holden doesn’t seem to really like anyone – except Jane and Selma), on the train after he leaves the school. Holdens says, “Just stop lying. Once I get started, I can go on for hours if I feel like it. No kidding. Hours” (58).

Even though Holden says that he thought Mrs. Morrow was a nice lady, why does he keep lying?

And at the end of chapter nine, he calls Miss Faith Cavendish, some supposedly easy lady that some Princeton guy at a party Holden went to mentioned. But he wouldn’t even go say hello to Jane in the Annex.

Come on, Holden.

Gray:

Stradlater, Holden’s roomie, says “budyroo” (28). Was that just 1950s slang? Can that come back? Please, please, please? (I’m just kidding…)

This goes right along with “sonuvabitch” (39) that everyone keeps saying like 50x in every chapter. I understand that they are teenagers. But really? Couldn’t they expand their vocabulary just a teensy bit? Couldn’t they find a better way of expressing themselves?

No? Okay.

Doesn’t surprise me.

More {silly} Questions:

Is Holden actually the governor’s son? And tap dancing? Does Holden’s dad really want Holden to go to Oxford? (page 29)

I can’t believe anything Holden says. He enjoys and thoroughly finds pleasure in lying. Holden – you’re the worst. Sorry, but right now, it’s true.

Will our mysterious Jane Gallagher (not Jane Doe… oh, I do want to write that though… she is a mystery after all) turn up later in the book? Will we ever meet her?

–> Please comment below! I love to hear your response!

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The Catcher in the Rye, Chapters 4 – 9

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