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Why does Holden dislike Ackley in The Catcher in the Rye?

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princessleo411 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 3, 2007 at 7:08 AM via web

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Why does Holden dislike Ackley in The Catcher in the Rye?

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted November 22, 2007 at 11:18 AM (Answer #2)

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Robert Ackley gets on Holden's nerves, much like just about everyone else Holden encounters.  Ackley has awful teeth, which he never brushes, lots of pimples, and a lousy personality, according to Holden.  Holden also hates the fact that Ackley  comes into his room and picks up things that belong to him and his roommate, Ward Stradlater.

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cjobst | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 27, 2009 at 3:45 AM (Answer #3)

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There are certain aspects of Holden's personality that are very OCD or ADD, although these ailments would not be addressed until much later in time, somewhere around the 1960's. Holden mentions that not only is Ackley a slob, but so is Stradlater. Lots of teenagers are slobs and this is very common for a teenager to be a slob, however, Holden hates this quality in Ackley. Ackley does not seem to brush his teeth, pick up after himself and clips his toenails on the table. In the end, Holden is sickened by his behavior and this causes severe disklike, however, Holden deep down feels sorry for Ackley because Ackely is much like Holden himself, and cannot fit into society.

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