According to Holden, what is one of the annoying things about Luce?

2 Answers

poetrymfa's profile pic

poetrymfa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Carl Luce is three years older than Holden, a graduate of the Whooton School, and a very intelligent boy. Despite these qualities, Holden seems to have some reservations about him, considering him to be quite "flitty" and once calling him a "fat-assed phony."

Holden and Luce get a drink in New York, and Luce spends most of their conversation fielding invasive question from Holden about Luce's sex life. Holden realizes that he's getting too personal and acknowledges his biggest complaint about Luce: that he tries to control every conversation and has no interest in sharing personal details about his own life despite his inquisitiveness about the personal lives of others. Holden comments that Luce "always wanted everybody to go back to their own room and shut up when he was finished being the big shot" and thinks that perhaps Luce "was afraid somebody'd say something smarter than he had." Luce closes the conversation by suggesting that Holden see a psychoanalyst so that he can learn to "recognize the patterns" of his own mind. With this advice, Luce leaves Holden alone in the bar and takes off for his date. 

dymatsuoka's profile pic

dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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A lot of things about Luce annoy Holden, but in Chapter 19, Holden says specifically, "that was one of the annoying things about Luce...he'd make you describe the most personal stuff that happened to you, but if you started asking him questions about himself, he got sore...these intellectrual guys don't like to have an intellectual conversation with you unless they're running the whole thing".  It was annoying to Holden that Luce wanted to control the direction of every conversation.