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The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye


by J. D. Salinger

Mr. Spencer Timeline and Summary

  • Mr. Spencer leaves Holden a note to come say good-bye, so Holden visits him while the big game is going on.
  • Looking not-so-attractive in his bathrobe and Vicks Nose Drops haven, Mr. Spencer grosses Holden out. He also asks how the getting-the-ax conversation went with headmaster Thurmer.
  • Mr. Spencer picks his nose.
  • He says that he recently met with Holden's parents, who are "grand" people.
  • Mr. Spencer wants to know whether or not Holden opened his history textbook even once all quarter. He's sort of a jerk about emphasizing over and over that Holden knew absolutely nothing about the material.
  • Stooping to even lower blows, Mr. Spencer reads Holden's exam book aloud. It's not a pretty sight.
  • It looks as though Mr. Spencer wants to be exonerated of his guilt over flunking Holden. Holden obliges, repeating again that there was nothing else Mr. Spencer could have done.
  • But Mr. Spencer still wants to know what Holden thinks of all this. Why does he keep getting the boot at all these prep schools?
  • He warns that Holden ought to care about his future, and that someday soon he (Holden) really will end up concerned about it.
  • He offers Holden hot chocolate, and may or may not yell "Good luck!" after him as he leaves.