S: What's Interesting About Me
FC: The Catcher in the Rye
1: One of the main themes in The Catcher in the Rye is apathy. Throughout the novel Holden is indifferent towards matters that should concern a 16 year old boy.
2: Holden explains in the opening of the novel, that he has been expelled from many schools. When his teacher asks how his parents will take it he explains, "They'll be pretty irritated about it. They really will. This is about the fourth school I've been to (Salinger 9)." | He moves on from one school to the next without applying any effort. School has become a lost priority for Holden.
3: Holden buys a hat that he saw in a window at a sporting store (Salinger 17). The hat is extremley different and doesn't fit casual occasions. He wears the hat by swinging the peak around back, which he refers to as corny (Salinger 18). Although he realizes the odd style of the hat he continues to wear it because he is indifferent towards the thoughts of others.
4: Holden constantky refers to people as "phonies." Therefore another vital theme to The Catcher in the Rye is the artificial behavior that all of society has,and is thoroughly examined by Holden.
5: Holden thinks about the previous schools he had gone to and why he had left them. He distinctly remembers Elkton Hills.
6: Holden claims one of the biggest reasons he left Elkton Hills was because he was surrounded "by a bunch of phonies (Salinger 13)." He recalls that the headmaster of the school Mr. Haas was "the phoniest bastard " he had ever met in his life (Salinger 14). He remembers his mannners when dealing with the parents of students and claimed that it drove him crazy. "Haas would shake hands with them and give them a phoney smile and then he'd talk for about a half an hour (Salinger 14)." Holden hated "god damn Elkton Hills "for this particular "phony behavior."
8: Holden begins to venture towards New York and takes a train. On the train he discovers that the woman that had sat next to him is the mother of one of the boys he knows that goes to Pencey Prep. She asks him if he knows her son Ernest Morrow and he claims that he does. He thinks to himself, "Her son was doubtless the biggest bastard that ever went to Pencey, in the whole crumby history of the school (Salinger 54)." Although he thinks poorly of the woman's son he enlightens her by telling modest made up stories about her son Ernie. Ernie is another example of the artificial behavior which Holden analyzes.