Catcher in the Rye

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Holden's Identification


Read the following passage and determine which statement does NOT best represent the significance of the quote.

"I was surrounded by jerks. I'm not kidding. At this other tiny table, right to my left, practically on top of me, there was this funny-looking guy and this funny-looking girl. They were around my age, or maybe just a little older. It was funny. You could see they were being careful as hell not to drink up the minimum too fast.

I listened to their conversation for a while, because I didn't have anything else to do. He was telling her about some pro football game he'd seen that afternoon. He gave her every single goddam play in the whole game--I'm not kidding. He was the most boring guy I ever listened to. And you could tell his date wasn't even interested in the goddam game, but she was even funnier-looking than he was. So I guess she had to listen. Real ugly girls have it tough. I feel so sorry for them sometimes. Sometimes I can't even look at them, especially if they're with some dopey guy that's telling them all about a goddam football game.

On my right, the conversation was even worse, though. On my right there was this very Joe Yale-looking guy, in a gray flannel suit and one of those flitty-looking Tattersall vests. All those Ivy League bastards look alike. My father wants me to go to Yale, or maybe Princeton, but I swear, I wouldn't go to one of those Ivy League colleges, if I was dying, for God's sake. Anyway, this Joe Yale-looking guy had a terrific-looking girl with him. Boy, she was good-looking. But you should've heard the conversation they were having."


Holden displays the ability to empathize with others' suffering but often follows with a sarcastic thought or comment; it reverses his attempt at displaying any kind of identification with the ugly individuals he comments on.


Although Holden shows empathy to ugly girls, he does not show any to unfortunate looking males.


Holden often assumes that everyone is suffering.


Holden's feeling sorry for ugly girls highlights his internal conflict he has with sexual attraction.


The only reason Holden would ever consider going to an ivy league school is because those guys always get the best looking girls.