Interview Notes - CATCHER IN THE RYE INTERVIEW FOCUS...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 8 pages.

CATCHER IN THE RYE INTERVIEW FOCUS QUESTIONS Plot Summary: The Catcher in the Rye is set around the 1950s and is narrated by a young man named Holden Caulfield. Holden is not specific about his location while he’s telling the story, but he makes it clear that he is undergoing treatment in a mental hospital or sanatorium. The events he narrates take place in the few days between the end of the fall school term and Christmas, when Holden is sixteen years old. Holden’s story began on a Saturday following the end of classes at the Pencey prep school in Agerstown, Pennsylvania. Pencey is Holden’s fourth school; he had already failed out of three others. At Pencey, he had failed four out of five of his classes and had received notice that he is being expelled, but he was not scheduled to return home to Manhattan until Wednesday. Holden clashes with his roommate, Stradlater , a senior, over Stradlater's treatment of Jane Gallagher, his date, and then left school about midnight to go to New York City where Holden attempted to connect with other people and failed to do so, which caused him to dread maturity and grasp on to his apotheosize views of youth hood. Throughout,most of the novel recounted Holdens pursuit for connection following him through dozens of encounters from people like cab drivers,formers and classmates and many others acquaintances while he stayed in New york. Because he had little sense of his effect on others and refused to conform to societal norms, he failed in every attempt, and adopted a self-protective overlay of disgust with the world throughout his different experiences with people and thought of them as “phony’s” . Ultimately his refusal to grow up and enter the adult world was torn to failure, which resulted in complete collapse. Main Characters: Holden Caulfield The narrator and protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye , Holden is the son of a wealthy New York family who moves from boarding school to boarding school after being repeatedly expelled. Although he displays a number of typical teenage characteristics, his adolescent foibles become increasingly disturbing throughout the novel, revealing a self-destructive side. Holden, it seems, has been particularly devastated by the death of his brother Allie, who he considered the perfect child. This had thrown him into an existential crisis of sorts; he was unable to find joy in life or to cope with his loss. Ultimately on the brink, he capitulated to convention and came back home, though there was a little sense that he had found even the basic ingredients for happiness.He is uncomfortable with his own weaknesses, and at times displays as much deceptiveness, meanness, and superficiality as anyone else in the book. As the novel opens, Holden stands self assured on the cliff separating childhood from adulthood. His inability to successfully negotiate the past leaves him on the verge of emotional collapse.
Phoebe Caulfield Phoebe, Holden's nine-year-old younger sister, is more mature and intelligent than her age implies. She realizes the extent of her brother's misanthropy and unhappiness. Holden

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture