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What is Ward Stradlater's opinion of Robert Ackley (The Cather in the Rye)?

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brandih | eNotes Employee

Posted November 5, 2013 at 12:39 AM via web

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What is Ward Stradlater's opinion of Robert Ackley (The Cather in the Rye)?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 5, 2013 at 1:25 AM (Answer #1)

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Holden Caufield, the protagonist and narrator of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, opens the novel telling of his time at Pency Prep. After losing the fencing foils for a match in the city, Holden returns to Pency (as a result of Pency's forfeiting). He begins to tell of his roommate, Ward Stradlater, and his neighboring roommate, Robert Ackley. Holden believes everyone to be phonies (a theme of the text), and his roommate and Ackley are included in this description. 

When it comes to how Stradlater and Ackley feel about one another, Holden makes their feelings quite clear. Ackley "hated Stradlater's guts and he never came in the room if Stradlater was around." Stradlater, on the other hand, "was at least a pretty friendly guy, Stradlater. It was partly a phony kind of friendly, but at least he always said hello to Ackley and all." Therefore, although Ackley seemed to hate everyone, Stradlater was at least friendly (even if it was a phony type of friendliness). While this does not say directly how Stradlater felt about Ackely, the fact that he was at least friendly says that Stradlater did not believe Ackely to be completely horrible or unlikeable. 


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