Week #1 (Passage Person): Foreseen Consequences

Holden Caulfield, as stated previously, has flunked out of another school. He flunked 4 of his five classes, all except English. On pages 10-12, he is being reprimanded by his history teacher, Mr. Spencer. He asks Holden if he had opened the book at all that school year, to which Holden replies “Well, I sort of glanced through it a couple times,” (Salinger 11) so as not to hurt his feelings. Mr. Spencer then shows him one of his old essays about the ancient Egyptians, which is comprised of 5 sentences. Holden added a note at the bottom, which reads,

“Dear Mr. Spencer. That is all I know about the Egyptians. I can’t seem to get very interested in them although your lectures are very interesting. It is all right with me if you flunk me as though as I am flunking everything else except English anyway. Respectfully yours, Holden Caulfield.”

Why is he so willing to not try to pass school, even though he knows his parents would be mad with him?

My group and I realized that it may have something to do with his mental stability as a result of his brother’s untimely death, and the reason his parents keep putting him back is due to their not being able to deal with it, and sort of just sending him off.

-Rafael C.


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