Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye

Characters

Quote #1

DEAR MR. SPENCER [he read out loud]. 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 though as I am flunking everything else except English anyway. Respectfully yours, HOLDEN CAULFIELD.

He put my goddam paper down then and looked at me like he'd just beaten hell out of me in ping-pong or something. I don't think I'll ever forgive him for reading me that crap out loud. I wouldn't've read it out loud to him if he'd written it—I really wouldn't. In the first place, I'd only written that damn note so that he wouldn't feel too bad about flunking me. (2.47-50)

Holden may not know much about the Egyptians, but he does know a lot about people: enough to try to ease Mr. Spencer’s conscience about flunking him, and enough to know he’d never embarrass someone by reading a dumb essay out loud.

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