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How and why did Holden deceive Mrs. Morrow?

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smartyjazz22 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 29, 2007 at 5:49 AM via web

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How and why did Holden deceive Mrs. Morrow?

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melissa147 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 21, 2015 at 5:00 AM (Answer #5)

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Holden began to lie to Mrs. Morrow when they first met; "  "May I ask your name, dear?" "Rudolf Schmidt," I told her. I didn't feel like giving her my whole life history. Rudolf Schmidt was the name of the janitor of our dorm." (Salinger 61) Holden began to lie to Mrs. Morrow because he was unsure how he felt about her and the type of person she'd be. 

"Her son was doubtless the biggest bastard that ever went to Pencey, in the whole crumby history of the school. He was always going down the corridor, after he'd had a shower, snapping his soggy old wet towel at people's asses. That's exactly the kind of a guy he was." ( Salinger 61) He lies a explains how "wonderful" he is.

"She was looking at me sort of funny. I may be wrong but I believe your nose is bleeding, dear, she said, all of a sudden. I nodded and took out my handkerchief. "I got hit with a snowball," I said. "One of those very icy ones." I probably would've told her what really happened, but it would've taken too long. I liked her, though." (Salinger 63) He doesn't tell her the truth about getting into a fight.

Holden continues to lies about various topics to Mrs. Morrow throughout this chapter these are just a few.


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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted January 29, 2007 at 6:32 AM (Answer #1)

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Mrs. Morrow is the mother of one of Holden's classmates. He lies to her because he doesn't want her to know that he's been kicked out of school.

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teacherdjd | Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 17, 2007 at 2:45 AM (Answer #2)

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Holden deceives Mrs. Marrow in numerous ways. He begins by lying about his name, claiming to be Rudolph Schmidt. He then informs her that her son is one of the most popular kids at Pency. Additionally, he tells her that "a bunch of us wanted old Ernie to be president of the class" but because he was so modest and shy, he wouldn't let them elect him (Salinger 56 - 57). Finally, he tells Mrs. Marrow that he is going home early because he has a brain tumor and has to have an operation.

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revolution | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted August 14, 2009 at 9:45 PM (Answer #3)

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He had been deceiving Mrs Morrow all these time. Firstly, Holden told a lie to her, telling her that his real name was Rudolph Schmidt, which is actually the school janitor’s name. Later, he tells really big fabrications about her son, Ernest, saying that he was the most popular boy in school and he would have been already elected the president of the child if he had let the other pupils in class nominate him for the role. When she ask Holden why he is leaving the school so early now, he told a white lie and said he was going for a brain tumor operation in a hospital in New York and he was traveling there to be treated. This shows how immature and imbalanced his mindset is and also shows us that he is trying to avoid all the attention aiming towards his actions and behaviours

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Wiggin42 | Student, Undergraduate | TA | (Level 2) Valedictorian

Posted April 17, 2014 at 1:13 AM (Answer #4)

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Holden deceives Mrs. Morrow by telling lies to her about her son. He goes on and on about what a terrific son she has. Yet, he actually hates Mrs. Morrow's son. He lies about his name, his purpose for leaving school early, and about her son's popularity. Holden himself wasn't sure why he started lying. This reveals the instability in his mind. 

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