As I was going through my reading notes for this book, I noticed that I hadn’t used some of the earlier quotes I had taken down. Re-reading them, I thought it might be nice to let them have a post of their own. At least one strikes a chord (humorously) with me as a mother, so I couldn’t let it pass.
Commenting very early on in the book regarding his expulsion from Pencey Prep, the cynical-wise child looks right through the system and sees it for what it can be.
They give guys the ax quite frequently at Pencey. It has a very good academic rating, Pencey. It really does.
The theme of “phoney” things flows throughout the book – especially easily seen in Holden’s distaste for films.
And yet he seems so naive, with this question about the ducks in Central Park bothering him throughout the book.
I was wondering where the ducks went when the lagoon got all icy and frozen over. I wondered if some guy came in a truck and took them away to a zoo or something. Or if they just flew away.
Not forgetting his humorous yet cutting observations; when Holden leaves his school he takes the train to New York and on that late night train ride he meets the mother of one of his classmates. A not so nice classmate at that. Holden spins great tales of how this classmate is wonderful and well liked, and all. He can see that the boy’s mother wants this to be true, but still he makes this observation of her.
She looked like she might have a pretty damn good idea what a bastard she was the mother of. But you can’t always tell – with somebody’s mother, I mean. Mothers are all slightly insane.
I couldn’t let that one pass. It’s quite an astute observation and very teenager. And some days, in this household, I would concur with his parting statement.