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Barron's Booknotes-The Catcher In the Rye by J. D. Salinger-Free Booknotes/Synopsis
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ANSWERS

TEST 1

1. A
2. B
3. B
4. C
5. B
6. B
7. A
8. B
9. C
10. A

11. There's no doubt that Jane is special to Holden, and that her special status is closely related to her vulnerability and insecurity. But before you write anything about her, look beyond these relatively obvious statements. An essay about Jane should touch on most of the following questions: Why does Holden keep talking about calling her? Why does he hesitate for so long before actually doing it? What would he have said to her if she had answered the phone? How would she have reacted to him? Why does he stop talking about her at the end of the book? (The last mention of Jane is in Mr. Antolini's apartment.) -

12. Remember that Phoebe is much more than just a child (although that would be enough for Holden). She's a very bright child; she's also sensitive, amusing, and articulate. In an essay dealing with her importance to Holden, you should deal with any contrast you see between Phoebe in the real world and Phoebe in Holden's mind. How much of his private Phoebe is an idealization? How much is the result of his freezing her at a certain point in her life? And don't forget the unique circumstance that makes Phoebe different from every other child Holden knows: she knew Allie in the same intimate way he did. -

13. As the comments on individual chapters pointed out repeatedly, Holden's preoccupation is with defenseless and vulnerable people. The ducks, of course, symbolize this concern, but simply stating that wouldn't produce a very satisfactory essay. You would want to show evidence of Holden's preoccupation with the ducks. You might also analyze the two conversations he has with cab drivers about the ducks, and how his comments in those conversations reflect his attitude toward the ducks. -


14. Holden tends to think of girls as defenseless, in need of his protection. He feels this way even when he's with someone who would laugh at the suggestion that he could protect her. (Reread his conversation with Sunny, the prostitute who comes to his hotel room.) This feeling extends even to women. He feels protective of his mother; of Mrs. Morrow, the woman he meets on the train from Pencey; and of the two nuns he has breakfast with. Jane Gallagher may be the epitome of the helpless female (in Holden's mind, at least), but she's certainly not the only one in his universe. In dealing with this question, you might give some attention to whether Holden's attitude toward girls changes by the end of the book. -

15. Holden has some very definitive, and very funny, things to say about organized religion. But you don't want to deal with a question like this without distinguishing between organized religion and religious feelings. Holden's objections to organized religion go right to the source: he doesn't much like the disciples, who were the first organizers of Christianity. He does, however, have a high regard for Jesus, who represents true religious feelings and impulses. Holden calls himself an atheist because he doesn't practice any form of organized religion, and because the God his society believes in doesn't seem real to him. But his talking to Allie is a form of prayer, and other things he says suggest a religious feeling that may not be satisfied by the organized religions he has come in contact with. An essay on his attitude toward religion should deal with most of these topics. -

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