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The Catcher in the Rye Essay Sample

The Catcher in the Rye Pages
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Significant passage: “You were supposed to commit suicide or something if old Pencey didn’t win” (2). Speaker: Holden Caulfield
Audience: Reader
Significance to the story: This passage shows the extremity of the schools dignity and school spirit. Reading this helps you realize that the school doesn’t tolerate failure and imperfections. You can assume that this could be one of the reasons Holden was kicked out of Pencey, aside from his academic failures. Thought provoking question about the passage: How is the school viewed from an outside perspective? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 2

Significant passage: “Life is a game boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules” (8). Speaker: Mr. Spencer
Audience: Holden Caulfield
Significance to the story: The significance to this passage is that it almost foreshadows what Holden goes through throughout the story. It’s something that Holden doesn’t seem to understand. Even though he’s cocky enough to think that he understands, he really does not and it gets him into a lot of trouble. Thought provoking question about the passage: Did Holden ever really understand? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 3

Significant passage: “I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life” (16). Speaker: Holden Caulfield
Audience: Reader
Significance to the story: This passage is really the main basis around the whole story. Holden continues to lie and lie and lie. His lies only get him into more trouble as the storyline progresses further. Thought provoking question about the passage: Does Holden ever learn his lesson about lying? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 4

Significant passage: “He wanted you to think that the only reason that he was lousy at writing compositions was because he stuck the commas in the wrong place” (28). Speaker: Holden Caulfield
Audience: Reader
Significance to the story: Over the course of this novel, Holden talks about hating just every little thing about everyone. This passage is just another example of his obvious dislikes about everyone. His dislikes of people can extend to the littlest of things, even commas. Thought provoking question about the passage: Was there ever anyone whom he had no dislike for? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 5

Significant passage: “I mean I’m not going to be a goddam surgeon or violinist or anything anyway” (39). Speaker: Holden Caulfield
Audience: Reader
Significance to the story: Holden looks down on himself. He fully believes that even if he tries his hardest (which he will not), he can not do anything. He feels that he is inferior, yet other times superior. Thought provoking question about the passage: Why couldn’t he just believe that he could get out there and do something with his life? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 6

Significant passage: “All morons hate when you call them a moron” (44). Speaker: Holden Caulfield
Audience: Reader
Significance to the story: Holden has no respect for anyone. He doesn’t like to think before he speaks. So, he ends up offending people. Even though he offends people, ho doesn’t care. Thought provoking question about the passage: Does he think of himself as a moron? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 7

Significant passage: “Sleep tight ya morons!” (52).
Speaker: Holden Caulfield
Audience: Kids in the dorm
Significance to the story: This is just another example of Holden’s disrespect and blatant hatred to everyone and everything around him. He
feels the need to let everyone know of just how much of a moron they really are. He doesn’t care about anyone’s feelings. Thought provoking question about the passage: Who isn’t a moron in his mind? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 8

Significant passage: “I probably would’ve told her what really happened, but it would’ve taken too long.” (56). Speaker: Holden Caulfield
Audience: Reader
Significance to the story: This passage shows what Holden thinks of his own lies. He has no remorse for his actions. He just views his lies as a great time saver and a favor to everyone. Thought provoking question about the passage: What was Holden’s biggest lie? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 9

Significant passage: “I think if you really don’t like a girl, you shouldn’t horse around with her at all” (62). Speaker: Holden Caulfield
Audience: Reader
Significance to the story: This is another one of Holden’s ideals. Just because he has so many faults, doesn’t mean that he is all-bad. Everyone can have some good in them. Thought provoking question about the passage: Why is he always so picky about girls? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 10

Significant passage: “Well-Where I have my hand on your back. If I think there isn’t anything underneath my hand-no can, no legs, no anything-then the girl’s really a terrific dancer” (71). Speaker: Holden Caulfield

Audience: Blonde girl
Significance to the story: This passages significance in my opinion would be showing Holden’s romantic side. Even though the woman dismisses it I find it to be very beautiful and poetic. Thought provoking question about the passage: Why was the woman so disinterested in Holden? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 11

Significant passage: “She was always reading, and she read very good books. She read a lot of poetry and all. She was the only one, outside my family, that I ever showed Allie’s baseball mitt to” (77). Speaker: Holden Caulfield

Audience: Reader
Significance to the story: This passage shows that Holden trusted Jane full-heartedly. He never showed anyone his brother’s baseball mitt to anyone. There is something about Jane that makes him trust her with his most precious thing. Thought provoking question about the passage: Why did Holden trust Jane so much? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 12

Significant passage: “If you was a fish, Mother Nature’d take care of you, wouldn’t she? Right? You don’t think them fish just die when it gets to be winter, do ya?” (83). Speaker: Horowitz
Audience: Holden Caulfield
Significance to the story: Holden always questions things about nature. Yet I believe that it is ironic that if you phrased the questions that he asks properly, they would obviously be about him. If he isn’t asking these questions to get answers about himself, I believe he’s doing it subconsciously Thought provoking question about the passage: Does Holden know that these questions directly relate to his situation? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 13

Significant passage: “I hate fist fights. I don’t mind getting hit so much – although I’m not crazy about it, naturally – but what scares me most in a fist fight is the guy’s face. I can’t stand looking at the other guy’s face, is my trouble. It wouldn’t be so bad if you could both be blindfolded or something. It’s a funny kind of yellowness, when you come to think of it, but it’s yellowness, all right. I’m not kidding myself” (90). Speaker: Holden Caulfield

Audience: Reader
Significance to the story: I think it’s odd that he hates fights yet he gets into quite a few. He also states that he doesn’t like looking in the other guys face. This makes me viev him as a coward. Thought provoking question about the passage: If he hates fights so much then why does he get himself into them? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 14.

Significant passage: “The goddam movies. They can ruin you. I’m not kidding” (104). Speaker: Holden Caulfield
Audience: Reader
Significance to the story: This is something Holden feels strongly about. He always talks about how much he hates actors and movies and plays, yet he continues to see them. He is a walking talking complaint. Thought provoking question about the passage: Has Holden ever thought of just not going to the movies? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 15

Significant passage: “The thing is, it’s really hard to be roommates with people if your suitcases are much better than theirs – if yours are really good ones and theirs aren’t. You think if they’re intelligent and all, the other person, and have a good sense of humor, that they don’t give a damn whose suitcases are better, but they do. They really do. It’s one of the reasons why I roomed with a stupid bastard like Stradlater. At least his suitcases were as good as mine” (109). Speaker: Holden Caulfield

Audience: Reader
Significance to the story: Holden talks about how people shouldn’t have an inferiority complex yet I think he clearly is the one with an inferiority complex. I think it’s really no big deal that someone has a different quality suitcase from you. It doesn’t change the person. Thought provoking question about the passage: Why does he thing that suitcases are such a big deal? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 16

Significant passage: “I hate actors. They never act like people. They just think they do” (115). Speaker: Holden Caulfield
Audience: Reader
Significance to the story:
Thought provoking question about the passage:
The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 18
Significant passage: “It’s a funny thing about girls. Every time you mention a guy that is strictly a bastard- very mean, or very conceited and all-and when you mention it to a girl, she’ll tell you he has an inferiority complex” (135). Speaker: Holden Caulfield

Audience: Reader
Significance to the story: Holden continues to complain about people having inferiority complexes. Here, he is in a way defending people with inferiority complexes. He is also in a way taking back what he says about people with inferiority complexes. Thought provoking question about the passage: Why does Holden complain so much about people with inferiority complexes? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 19

Significant passage: “When are you going to grow up?” (144). Speaker: Luce
Audience: Holden Caulfield
Significance to the story: Holden is so very immature. He continually acts childish and people always seem to take notice. Even Luce. Thought provoking question about the passage: Isn’t Luce immature in a way too? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 20

Significant passage: “People never give your message to anybody” (149). Speaker: Holden Caulfield
Audience: Reader
Significance to the story: This something Holden complained about multiple times over the course of this book. Even though it can be true, he needs to learn to have some faith in people. It would make his life and other peoples lives easier too. Thought provoking question about the passage: Do people ever give people Holden’s message? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 21

Significant passage: “It’s funny. All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they’ll do practically anything you want them to” (158). Speaker: Holden Caulfield
Audience: Reader
Significance to the story: Holden is always trying to get out of things. The way he lies all the time belittles others and makes him seem immature. He think he’s being intelligent with his lies but all he’s being is a bad person. Thought provoking question about the passage: Has Holden’s lies ever got him into trouble? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 22

Significant passage: “You don’t like anything that’s happening. . . . You don’t like any schools. You don’t like a million things. You don’t” (169). Speaker: Phoebe
Audience: Holden Caulfield
Significance to the story: Holden hates everything and Phoebe is one of the many who realize that. Holdens hatred for everything affects everyone. Even the people he truly cares about. Thought provoking question about the passage: What does Holden like? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 23

Significant passage: “I didn’t want her to get a goddam inferiority complex” (176). Speaker: Holden Caulfield
Audience: Reader
Significance to the story: This passage is almost ironic. Holden is trying to make sure Phoebe doesn’t get an inferiority complex yet he is the one who has one. He needs to fix himself before he attempts to fix others. Thought provoking question about the passage: Why would he think a 12 year old would develop an inferiority complex? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 24

Significant passage: “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one” (188). Speaker: Mr. Antolini

Audience: Holden Caulfield
Significance to the story: This quote perfectly describes Holden. Over the course of the story you notice his insane immaturity. He wants to die nobly for his own cause. Thought provoking question about the passage: Does he realize after hearing him say this that he’s immature? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 25

Significant passage: “If you had a million years to do it in, you couldn’t rub out even half the ‘Fuck you’ signs in the world. It’s impossible” (202). Speaker: Holden Caulfield
Audience: Reader
Significance to the story: This passage is so significant because this entire book was Holden’s version of a giant “F you”. Holden doesn’t seem to realize that he is the cause of much of this pain. All he does is hurt, weather he realizes it or not. Thought provoking question about the passage: Does Holden ever consider his actions as being an “F you”? The Catcher in the Rye: Chapter 26

Significant passage: “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody” (214). Speaker: Holden Caulfield
Audience: Reader
Significance to the story: This is significant to the story because this is exactly what happened to Caulfield. This passage is significant because it was the ‘final words’ in the book. The final words are always the most dramatic and groundbreaking. Thought provoking question about the passage: Does he really regret trusting people?

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