Describe how Holden feels in Mr. and Mrs. Spencer's house?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Holden is not very comfortable to be in the Spencer home. He's glad that he isn't out in the frozen world, but he feels depressed and anxious to be around sick and old people. Holden behaves properly, though. For being on edge and uncomfortable, he keeps his speech and behavior respectful. When Mr. Spencer reads his history report out loud, Holden feels embarrassed and ashamed because he didn't do a very good job with it. He also feels a little disrespected that Mr. Spencer would embarrass him like that. Holden says the following about how he is treated by Mr. Spencer:

"He put my goddam paper down then and looked at me like he'd just beaten hell out of me in Ping-Pong or something. I don't think I'll ever forgive him for reading me that crap out loud" (12).

Again, Holden keeps his thoughts to himself and doesn't disrespect the old and sickly Mr. Spencer after he feels disrespected. Holden understands that Mr. Spencer is doing his best to help him, but it isn't a very nice experience for him.

Read the study guide:
The Catcher in the Rye

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