These chapters really establish the way Holden interacts with his peers. Holden despises “phonies”—people whose surface behavior distorts or disguises their inner feelings. Unfortunately, Holden is surrounded by phonies in his prep school. Preening Ackley and self-absorbed Stradlater act as his immediate contrasts. But, despite their flaws, he acts with basic kindness toward them, agreeing to write Stradlater’s English composition for him, even though Stradlater is out with Jane Gallagher, a girl Holden seems to care for very deeply.
Utlimately, Stradlater and Ackley sound like appallingly unsympathetic characters, but this is completely the result of the tone in which Holden describes them. For instance, Holden indicates his awareness that Ackley behaves in annoying ways because he is insecure and unpopular, but instead of trying to imagine what Ackley wants or why he does things, he focuses on Ackley’s surface—literally, his skin. By describing in minute detail Ackley’s nail trimming and pimple squeezing, Holden makes him seem disgusting and subhuman.
Holden’s interactions with his peers also reveals just how lonely he is. He describes Ackley as isolated and ostracized, but it’s easy to see the parallel between Ackley’s and Holden’s situations. Holden notes that he and Ackley are the only two guys not at the football game. Both are isolated, and both maintain a bitter, critical exterior in order to shield themselves from the world that assaults them.
Now what about Jane? Could Holden be in love with her?
P.S. Don't forget to sign up for Remind 101! Also, Extra Credit is due Thursday!
Directions for English 1 Honors Students/Parents
1. Text @mccradyhnr to (609) 270-4142
2. When you text the number, it will reply asking you to type your name in
3. Respond with typing your name and you will be signed up to receive the following:
b. Changes in schedule
c. Homework reminders
d. Study reminders
*** Students are not able to text back and the number is not a real number, rather a number generated by the Remind 101 program; meaning the number appearing on the text message is not my cell phone number.
As the novel opens, the narrator, Holden Caulfield, speaks directly to the reader from a mental hospital in southern California. He says that he will tell us, the readers, of events (madman stuff) occurring around Christmastime of the previous year. However, goes off on a tangent about his older brother, D.B. a writer in nearby Hollywood who visits Holden nearly every weekend.
As we read these opening chapters, pay special attention to Holden's tone. We as readers realize that Holden is not a traditional narrator. He avoids details about his birth, his parents, and "all that David Copperfield kind of crap". Holden speaks in the vernacular of a teenager of his day (the late 1940s). The his first person point of view is unique to Holden but easily accessible to the rebels, romantics, innocents, and dreamers of any generation.
Now is Holden's anger just typical teenage angst or is it warranted? What makes you angry? How do you cope with your "anger"?
And even if I could, I'm not sure I'd feel like it.
Onto our next novel! In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, we meet the famous literary character, Holden Caulfield who is going from the dorms of Pencey Prep to the streets of New York City. He is an alienated teenager struggling with growing up and heads full speed into a mental breakdown. He is completely obsessed with phonies, sex, and his general discomfort in his own skin. This novel explores themes you can all relate to.... identity, belonging, and growing up.
Teenage Angst Anyone?
We've reached the dramatic conclusion of Romeo & Juliet! Now remember in the final Act, everything that could go wrong will go wrong and Romeo and Juliet will not get the "Happily Ever After" they hope for. Talk about intense!
As we approach the midway point of the marking period, I want to encourage all of you to take advantage of any extra credit opportunities that pop up, be sure to study for the final Romeo & Juliet Test, and work diligently on the Romeo & Juliet Project. You will learn more about the project Friday.
Adieu! Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow,
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