The Catcher in the Rye: Quizzes
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Chapter 1 Questions
Study Questions
1. Who is Holden Caulfield?
2. Who is D.B., and why is Holden somewhat contemptuous of him?
3. What is the reality of Pencey Prep in contrast to the advertisements, as seen by Holden?
4. Why does Holden watch the game from the hill?
5. Who is Selma Thurmer, and why did Holden like her?
6. Who is Mr. Spencer, and why was Holden going to visit him?
7. Why was Holden trying to “feel” some kind of good-bye?
8. What does Holden think about the other students who attend Pencey?
9. How popular was the sport of polo at Pencey Prep?
10. Does Holden blame others for his flunking out of school?


Chapter 2 Questions and Answers
Study Questions
1. What had Mr. Spencer bought and shown the boys when they were visiting him one Sunday?
2. What advice did Dr. Thurmer give to Holden?
3. Did Holden agree with Dr. Thurmer’s description of life as a game? Explain your answer.
4. Was Pencey Prep really the fourth school from which Holden was asked to leave? Explain your answer.
5. What did Holden think about Mr. Spencer’s description of his parents as “grand people”?
6. Why did Holden write Mr. Spencer a note at the end of his examination paper?
7. What was Holden thinking about while he said the following: “I told him I was a real moron, and all that stuff. I told him how I would’ve done exactly the same thing if I’d been in his place, and how most people didn’t appreciate how tough it is being a teacher.”
8. Why did Holden leave Elkton Hills School?
9. What excuse did Holden give Mr. Spencer for having to end the visit?
10. Holden told Mr. Spencer not to worry about him. What reason did he give for not worrying?

Chapter 3 Questions and Answers
Study Questions
1. Who is Ossenburger?
2. What was the substance of Ossenburger’s speech?
3. Who are Holden’s favorite authors?
4. How does Holden determine whether a book is outstanding?
5. What does Ackley usually do when he comes to visit Holden?
6. What is it about Ackley that Holden finds annoying?
7. Give an example of something which Ackley considered very funny.
8. Why does Ackley not like Stradlater?
9. What does Holden say in defense of Stradlater?
10. What did Stradlater want to borrow from Holden?

Chapter 4 Questions and Answers
Study Questions
1. According to Holden, Ackley and Stradlater are both slobs. In what way are they different as slobs?
2. What favor does Stradlater ask of Holden?
3. According to Stradlater, what constitutes a good composition?
4. According to Ackley, what was it about Howie Coyle which made him a good basketball player?
5. What does Holden have to say about Stradlater’s sense of humor?
6. What was unique about the way in which Jane Gallagher played checkers?
7. What does Holden say about Jane Gallagher’s home life that piqued Stradlater’s curiosity?
8. How does Holden know that Stradlater would not tell Jane Gallagher that he had been kicked out of Pencey Prep?
9. When Stradlater asks Holden to write the composition for him, what does he say regarding the level of quality he wants?
10. Why is Holden glad to see Ackley return to his room?

Chapter 5 Study Questions
1. In Holden’s opinion why does Pencey Prep serve steak on Saturday night?
2. What is Ackley’s characteristic response whenever he is asked to go somewhere with the other boys?
3. Why do Holden, Brossard, and Ackley not go to the movies after all?
4. Why does Holden not like to sit next to Brossard and Ackley at the movies?
5. What card game does Brossard enjoy most of all?
6. What does Holden write about for Stradlater’s composition?
7. Why did Allie have writing on his baseball mitt?
8. How did Allie die?
9. How did Holden react to Allie’s death?
10. Does Holden express dislike or sympathy for Ackley at the end of this chapter?

Chapter 6 Study Questions
  1. Why is Holden so interested in what happened on Stradlater’s date?
2. Why does Stradlater not like the composition which Holden wrote for him?
3. Why does Holden smoke in bed?
4. Where did Stradlater go on his date with Jane Gallagher?
5. How would you describe Holden’s attitude toward athletes?
6. Why does Holden punch Stradlater?
7. According to Holden, how can you identify a moron?
8. Why is Stradlater nervous after hitting Holden?
9. What does Holden do before looking in the mirror?
10. What is Holden’s reaction to all the blood?

Chapter 7 Study Questions
1. Why does Ackley not want to play canasta?
2. Why does Holden become angry with Ackley?
3. When Ackley insists on hearing the reasons for the fight, how does Holden answer him?
4. What does Holden think about as he lies in Ely’s bed?
5. What is it about Stradlater that makes him so dangerous on a date?
6. What makes Holden so lonely that he wakes up Ackley?
7. What is it that really upsets Ackley?
8. What does Holden decide when he leaves Ackley’s room?
9. Why does packing his ice skates make Holden sad?
10. How does Holden feel as he is about to leave Pencey Prep?



Chapter 8 Study Questions
1. Why does Holden walk to the train station?
2. What does Holden say when asked whether he likes Pencey Prep?
3. Why is Mrs. Morrow concerned about Ernest?
4. Because Holden likes Mrs. Morrow, what does he tell her about Ernest?
5. According to Holden, why was Ernest Morrow not elected president of the class?
6. What does Mrs. Morrow suspect is the reason for Holden’s going home late on a Saturday night?
7. What is Holden’s explanation for going home on Saturday?
8. Why does Mrs. Morrow keep calling Holden by the name Rudolf?
9. Where does Mrs. Morrow invite Holden to visit Ernest in the summer?
10. What excuse does Holden give to Mrs. Morrow for not being able to visit Ernest in the summer?

Chapter 9 Study Questions
1. What does Holden do when he reaches Penn Station?
2. What does Holden discuss with the cab driver on the way to the Edmont Hotel?
3. What is Holden’s opinion of the Edmont Hotel?
4. How does Holden describe the bellman at the Edmont Hotel?
5. How does Holden feel about “necking” with girls whom he does not really care about?
6. What type of rules does Holden have difficulty observing?
7. What excuse has Holden planned to use in order to get through to Jane Gallagher on the telephone after-hours?
8. Why does Holden not call Jane Gallagher?
9. From whom did Holden get Faith Cavendish’s name?
10. How does Holden feel after Faith Cavendish refuses to meet him for a cocktail?

Chapter 10 Study Questions
1. Why does Holden decide not to call Phoebe?
2. How does Holden feel about Phoebe?
3. How much does Holden think it will cost him to get a prime table in the Lavender Room?
4. How does Holden know that the three girls at the next table are not from New York City?
5. How do the girls react when Holden asks them whether anyone wants to dance?
6. What does Bernice say that betrays how shallow she is?
7. Does Bernice enjoy dancing with Holden?
8. How does Holden overstep the bounds of propriety with Bernice?
9. Do the girls invite Holden to sit down at their table?
10. How does Holden describe the experience of dancing with Marty?

Chapter 11 Study Questions
1. Does Holden think that Stradlater seduced Jane Gallagher?
2. What sports does Jane Gallagher enjoy playing?
3. How did Jane Gallagher and Holden get to be friends?
4. What kind of books did Jane Gallagher like to read?
5. Is Jane Gallagher pretty?
6. What was it that made Jane Gallagher cry when she and Holden were playing checkers?
7. How important was necking in Holden’s relationship with Jane Gallagher?
8. How does Holden know about Ernie’s in Greenwich Village?
9. Who is Ernie?
10. What does Holden find especially irritating about Ernie?


Chapter 12 Study Questions
1. What is the main theme of the first paragraph?
2. How does Holden describe Horwitz’s personality?
3. What does Holden discuss with Horwitz?
4. How does Holden characterize the patrons at Ernie’s?
5. What is it that Holden objects to about the crowd at Ernie’s?
6. Why does Holden feel sorry for Ernie?
7. Describe the conversations going on at tables next to Holden.
8. Who is Lillian Simmons?
9. From Lillian Simmons’ point of view, what is most impressive about D.B.?
10. How does Holden feel about such social amenities as saying to someone, “Glad to have met you?”

Chapter 13 Study Questions
1. Why does Holden walk back to the hotel rather than take a cab?
2. What does Holden think about as he walks back to the hotel?
3. What kind of a drinker does Holden think he is?
4. How does Holden feel when he arrives back at the hotel?
5. What excuse does Holden give for agreeing to meet with the prostitute?
6. What does Holden think about a girl’s ability to control herself in the heat of passion?
7. Does Holden look forward to meeting with the prostitute?
8. How does Holden feel when the prostitute takes off her dress?
9. When does Holden begin to feel sorry for Sunny?
10. What excuse does Holden give Sunny for not wanting to have sex with her?

Chapter 14 Study Questions
1. After Sunny leaves Holden’s room, whom does he begin talking to?
2. What is it that Holden finds disturbing about Jesus’ disciples?
3. How does Holden’s belief about Judas differ from that of his friend Arthur Childs?
4. How does Holden say that Jesus chose his disciples?
5. How does Holden know who is knocking on his door even before opening it?
6. Why do Maurice and Sunny return to Holden’s room?
7. What is it about ministers that Holden does not like?
8. How does Maurice respond when Holden says that he is going to scream his head off if Maurice roughs him up?
9. What religion are the children in Holden’s family?
10. What excuse does Holden give for not committing suicide by jumping out the window?

Chapter 15 Study Questions
1. When Holden awakens on Sunday morning, he thinks about the time of his last meal. When was that?
2. Whom does Holden think about calling when he awakens?
3. Where is Sally supposed to meet Holden?
4. Why does Holden not want to tell his mother that he was expelled again?
5. Why did Dick Slagle take Holden’s suitcases out from under the bed and put them out where they could be seen?
6. What was Dick Slagle’s favorite word?
7. Why did Holden miss Dick Slagle after they were given different roommates?
8. What subjects do the two nuns teach?
9. What does Holden find annoying about Catholics?
10. Holden says that he did something stupid and embarrassing when the two nuns got up to leave. What was it?


Chapter 16 Study Questions
1. What makes Holden sad when he thinks about the nuns?
2. How did the little boy walking with his family lift Holden’s spirits?
3. What kind of shows does Sally Hayes like to see?
4. Although Holden is getting low on cash, he takes a cab to the park instead of the subway. Why?
5. What is it about Phoebe’s liking to skate near the bandstand that Holden thinks is funny?
6. Why is the young girl in the park having trouble tightening her skate?
7. How does Holden feel while he thinks about Miss Aigletinger taking his class to the museum?
8. What is it about Gertrude Levine, his partner at the museum, that Holden remembers?
9. According to Holden, what is the best thing about the museum?
10. Is Holden looking forward to his date with Sally?

Chapter 17 Study Questions
1. Why is Holden depressed when he is sitting in the lobby of the Biltmore?
2. Name two outstanding characteristics of Harris Macklin.
3. What is the best thing Holden can say about bores?
4. After Sally tells Holden that she loves him, how does she want to change him?
5. Holden says that the Lunts do not act like people or actors. What does he say they act like?
6. Why does Sally not talk much during the intermission?
7. What article of clothing does Holden associate with “Ivy League types?”
8. Why does Holden think that Sally really wants to go skating?
9. How do Holden and Sally’s skating ability compare with the others who are on the ice?
10. Does Sally like school?

Chapter 18 Study Questions
1. After Holden leaves the skating rink, where does he go?
2. In Holden’s opinion, how do girls defend a boy they like if someone criticizes him by calling him mean or
conceited?
3. Why did Bob Robinson have an inferiority complex?
4. Why does Holden go to Radio City after he leaves the drugstore?
5. According to Holden, what is there about the show at Radio City that Jesus would really like?
6. In the movie, what happens to Alec that causes him to regain his memory?
7. Why is Holden so critical of the lady who sits next to him in the movie?
8. What kind of job did D.B. have when he was overseas in the army?
9. In Holden’s opinion, what was inconsistent about D.B.’s liking the novel A Farewell to Arms?
10. Why is Holden happy that the atomic bomb has been invented?

Chapter 19 Study Questions
1. Describe the entertainment at the Wicker Bar.
2. What types of people frequent the Wicker Bar?
3. Why does Holden not like the bartender at the Wicker Bar?
4. What was the relationship between Luce and Holden when they were at Whooton together?
5. What word does Luce use frequently?
6. How old is Luce’s current girl friend?
7. Give one reason why Luce prefers Eastern philosophy to Western philosophy.
8. What is one of the annoying things about Luce, according to Holden?
9. What advice did Luce give to Holden?
10. What is the one positive thing Holden says about Luce at the end of the chapter?

Chapter 20 Study Questions
1. After Valencia sings, what does Holden ask the headwaiter to do?
2. When Holden leaves the Wicker Bar, why is he holding his stomach?
3. After Holden talks to Sally Hayes on the telephone, how does he picture her at home that evening?
4. While in the restroom, what advice does Holden give the piano player at the Wicker Bar?
5. What excuse does the lady in the hat-check room give Holden for not going on a date with him?
6. Because it is dark and spooky, what does Holden say he would do if he happened to see someone in Central
Park?
7. What does Holden say he wants done with his body when he dies?
8. Why was Holden not able to attend his brother, Allie’s, funeral?
9. While at the lagoon in Central Park, Holden counts his money. What does he do with the coins?
10. What is it that Holden worries about after he decides to go home and see Phoebe?


Chapter 21 Study Questions
1. When Holden gets on the elevator, whom does he tell the operator he is going to visit?
2. Holden is very skillful at opening the door quietly. What profession does he say he should have gone into?
3. When Holden enters the family apartment, how does he know for sure that he is in the right apartment?
4. How does Holden describe his mother’s hearing ability?
5. Why does Phoebe not like her own room?
6. During the first few moments that he is in Phoebe’s room, Holden says something he has not said for many
chapters. What is it?
7. Holden’s mother has outstanding tastes in what area?
8. What kind of reading does Holden find very interesting?
9. How did Phoebe hurt her arm?
10. What does Holden say that he may do now that he has been expelled from school?


Chapter 22 Study Questions
1. To what does Holden compare Phoebe’s behavior when she finds out that he was expelled from Pencey?
2. Where does Holden say that his father will send him when he learns that Holden has been expelled?
3. Even though Holden likes Mr. Spencer, why does he consider him a phony?
4. What was the Pencey alumnus looking for when he came to Holden and Stradlater’s dorm?
5. When Holden thinks about the nuns, what does he picture them doing?
6. Why did James Castle commit suicide?
7. What was the topic of the only conversation that Holden remembers having with James Castle?
8. What habit of Holden’s does Phoebe wants him to change?
9. What bothers Holden about becoming a lawyer?
10. Who is the author of “if a body meet a body coming through the rye?”

Chapter 23 Questions and Answers
Study Questions
1. How does Mr. Antolini respond to Holden’s telephone call?
2. Who taught Phoebe to dance?
3. How does Holden feel after he dances with Phoebe?
4. What behavior of Charlene, the maid, does Phoebe object to?
5. Where does Phoebe say her prayers before she goes to bed that evening?
6. Why does Holden say that he has to leave the house?
7. Why does Phoebe not want Holden to go away?
8. Where does Holden plan to stay until Wednesday?
9. How does Phoebe try to comfort Holden when he is crying?
10. What does Holden do with the hunting hat?

Chapter 24 Questions and Answers
Study Questions
1. How did Mr. Antolini feel about D.B. going to Hollywood?
2. Why does Mrs. Antolini not want Holden to look at her when she enters the room with the coffee and cake?
3. What criteria does Holden say one must meet in order to get a good grade in Oral Expression?
4. Why does Holden like Richard Kinsella’s speeches better than anyone else’s?
5. Holden admits that there were times when he hated both Stradlater and Ackley. What else does Holden sayabout them?
6. What is the sense of the quote from Wilhelm Stekel which Mr. Antolini writes down for Holden?
7. What does Mr. Antolini say that Holden will do once he decides what to do with his life?
8. What does Mr. Antolini say that a good academic education will do for Holden?
9. What excuse does Holden give Mr. Antolini for having to go to the train station to get his money?
10. While awaiting the elevator, what does Holden say to Mr. Antolini?

Chapter 25 and 26 Questions and Answers
Study Questions
1. Where does Holden spend the rest of the night after he leaves Mr. Antolini’s apartment?
2. What does Holden worry about as he tries to stop thinking about the scene with Mr. Antolini?
3. Whom does Holden think about calling before he meets Phoebe?
4. What rule would Holden require all visitors at his cabin to observe?
5. How does Holden recognize Phoebe from a distance at the museum?
6. Why does Phoebe have a suitcase with her?
7. What does Phoebe say to Holden that he says sounds worse than swearing?
8. How does Holden feel as he stands in the rain watching Phoebe ride the carousel?
9. From what location is Holden telling this story?
10. What is Holden sorry about?
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