Monday, May 7, 2012
Reader Response 1
The Catcher in the Rye is set around the 1950s; the story is narrated by a young man named Holden Caulfield. The beginning of the story takes place at Pencey Prep, a school in Agerstown, Pennsylvania. Our look into Holden’s life begins on the Saturday after the end of classes at Pencey before the Christmas break. The way Holden talks about Pencey allows you to get a sense his parents sent him there to help him transform into a wise, hard working young man. “Since 1888 we have been moulding boys into splendid, clear thinking young men.”(Pg.2) This shows what Pencey is all about and foreshadows that Holden maybe isn’t as mature as he should be. Shortly later you get a look into Holden’s past and future and learn that Holden has flunked out of Pencey failing 4 out of 5 of his classes. Pencey is Holden’s fourth school as he flunked 3 previously to attending Pencey. The school has notified him that he is being expelled and that after Christmas break he will not return. Holden is not supposed to be returning home to Manhattan till Wednesday for break. Holden becomes irritated from his history teacher complaining about his poor academic performance, his unhygienic and annoying neighbour Ackley, and his own room mate Stradlater who Holden was not too fond of. After all this he gets into a fight with Stradlater, and decides to leave Pencey early. He is tired and done with Pencey and gets a train ride back to Manhattan. He decides he will stay in a hotel for three days until Wednesday when he will return home.
On his leave early from Pencey his one thought is to keep this from his parents as they don’t know he has flunked out of Pencey. Throughout the beginning you get a little introduction to Holden’s family, his older brother D.B who is a writer and works in Hollywood, his younger sister Phoebe who is very smart. He also talks about his younger brother Allie who died of Leukemia. This is the first beginning step into his adventures as a young adolescent boy with many issues he will eventually have to face.
ENG 2D-Summative Project #1-Novel Study
Monday, May 7, 2012
Reader Response 2
After arriving in Manhattan off the train at Penn station, Holden gets in a cab and gets dropped off at the Edmont hotel, where he checks himself in. Holden goes up to his room and calls Faith Cavendish, this woman he has never been introduced to, but who’s number he got from a guy at Princeton. He calls her in the hope he can persuade her to have sex with him after hearing she was once a stripper. After she turns him down saying she is busy that evening he goes down to the Lavender Room in the hotel and chats and dances with three women in there 30’s. After he leaves he ponders on thoughts about people he knows and past experiences and memories. Holden gets in another cab and goes to Ernie’s Jazz Club. He has this fascination wanting to know where the ducks in Central Park go when the lagoon freezes, but no one seems to know the answer. During his outing he bumps into his brother’s old girlfriend, Lillian Simmons, after speaking with her he leaves and heads to the hotel. Maurice the elevator guy at the hotel offers Holden a prostitute for the night, minutes later a young woman named Sunny comes to his room, Holden chickens out and just wants to talk. He pays her 5 dollars and she leaves. Maurice and Sunny appear back at his room demanding another 5 dollars, with Holden refusing to pay. Maurice hits him in the stomach and Sunny takes the money. The next morning Holden plans to meet his old girlfriend, Sally Hayes, for a matinee showing of a Broadway play. As he waits to meet her he gets breakfast and meets some interesting people and goes looking for his younger sister but doesn’t find her. After the play they go to Radio City to ice skate, Holden tries to influence Sally to run away with him.