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Catcher in the Rye

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Understatement

CATCHR-YP1NGV

Of the following choices, which excerpt contains language that utilizes understatement?

A

"She had a terrifically nice smile. She really did. Most people have hardly any smile at all, or a lousy one. 'Ernest's father and I sometimes worry about him,' she said. 'We sometimes feel he's not a terribly good mixer.' 'How do you mean?' 'Well. He's a very sensitive boy. He's really never been a terribly good mixer with other boys. Perhaps he takes things a little more seriously than he should at his age.' Sensitive. That killed me. That guy Morrow was about as sensitive as a goddam toilet seat."

B

"I finally found the switch and turned It on. Old Ackley put his hand up so the light wouldn't hurt his eyes. 'Jesus!' he said. 'What the hell happened to you?' He meant all the blood and all. 'I had a little goddam tiff with Stradlater.' I said. Then I sat down on the floor. They never had any chairs in their room. I don't know what the hell they did with their chairs. 'Listen,' I said, 'do you feel like playing a little Canasta?'"

C

"But old Stradlater kept snowing her in this Abraham Lincoln, sincere voice, and finally there'd be this terrific silence in the back of the car. It was really embarrassing. I don't think he gave that girl the time that night but damn near. Damn near."

D

"If he was so goddam stupid not to realize it was Saturday night and everybody was out or asleep or home for the week end, I wasn't going to break my neck telling him. He started getting undressed. He didn't say one goddam word about Jane. Not one. Neither did I. I just watched him. All he did was thank me for letting him wear my hound's-tooth. He hung it up on a hanger and put it in the closet."

E

"Anyway, the next thing I knew, I was on the goddam floor and he was sitting on my chest, with his face all red. That is, he had his goddam knees on my chest, and he weighed about a ton. He had hold of my wrists, too, so I couldn't take another sock at him. I'd've killed him."