Week #4 (Researcher): Round and Round We Go

Towards the end of the book, Holden takes his sister out to go on a semi, mini-date before he leaves. While she tries to convince him to take her with him, he wont budge, but takes her to a carousel instead. This represents ties to youth, as we must enjoy it while we can. Teens in the 1940s had wanted to grow up as quickly as possible. The carousel symbolizes a connection to youth and to Phoebe, Holden’s sister. A carousel is an object for fun, for memories, for youth. Just like Phoebe on the carousel, Holden’s feelings go round and round throughout the book, and perhaps he has matured just a bit. 16308_big

-Sam H.

Week #3 (Connector/Researcher): Ice Ice Baby

In this section of reading Holden takes a girl out on an ice skating date and asks her to run away with him. This reminds me of the multiple ice skating dates I have experienced and third wheeled at. Ice skating is a romantic, it is no wonder he chose this setting to cross the line and propose the idea of running away together. This event also reminds me of the ice skating date with Buddy the elf and Jovie when they skate at Rockefeller center in New York City. This connection is ironic because Buddy the elf is full of joy and Christmas spirit, where Holden is rebellious and rude. Ice skating is a romantic but overused date that seems to prove effective in movies and books to get people to fall in love.

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-Autumn K.

Week #3 (Passage Person): Holden’s Conflicts

The passage I chose is when Holden is on a date with an old friend named Sally. However, after they went ice skating, Holden got excited and basically asked her to run away with him. Sally, however, did not want any part in it and left, leaving Holden alone with his thoughts.

“The terrible part, though, is that i meant it when I asked her. That’s the terrible part. I swear to God I’m a madman.”

I thought this quote reveals how conflicted and out-of -this-world Holden really is. In the beginning of the chapter, Holden was explaining what a phony Sally was, and what she was like. It was pretty clear that Holden didn’t like her. Then he was talking about running away with her after an afternoon they spent together. Holden is conflicted about everything and he seems to bounce around along with his opinions.

Week #2 (Passage Person): Dancing Love

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The passage I chose starts off with Holden dancing with a blonde who he claims to be “a terrific dancer”. After they finish dancing he states “I was half in love with her by the time we sat down”. He barely even knew her and he was already “half in love”? This just proves that teenage boys do not fully understand love. I chose this passage because I believe that it truly captures the mind of young boys and how they view love. All Holden saw was her dancing skills and good looks; that isn’t love. Love is deeper than that. This passage captures the realistic teenage reaction to women and how immature the character really is.

-Autumn K.

Week #2 (Researcher): Rebel Without A Cause

In chapters 7-12, Holden is going about New York, trying to stay away from home. He, upon taking a cab, mistakenly gives the driver his home address, before correcting him and asking him to take him to a hotel. Holden’s increasing rebelliousness is accurate to the time, as teens with jobs had good pay and no longer needed necessarily to depend on their parents. Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock and the rising rock-and-roll fad gave teens another ‘taboo’ subject to take in as their own. Their main objective was to have fun, and they did. They ‘jitterbug’ed away to the newest beats, and this is mirrored in the novel. After Holden finds his way into the ‘Lavender Room,’ a nightclub at the hotel at which he was staying. He finds a group of three girls, and after deeming one ‘cute,’ asks her to dance. He enjoys her dancing, and when a fast song comes on, they jitterbug away.

America’s First Teenagers: Youth in the Fifties

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Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock, released in 1957, was a US #1 hit for 7 weeks.

– Rafael C.