What is Ackley's characteristic response whenever he is asked to go somewhere with the other boys?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 5, when Holden goes to town to go to the movies with Mal Brossard, he asks Ackley if he would like to go.  At first he pretends that he couldn't hear what Holden was saying.  Then he confronted him and asked him straight out who else was going.

"He was the kind of guy that hates to answer you right away. He always has to know who was going.  I swear, if that guy was shipwrecked somewhere, and you rescued him in a goddam boat, he'd want to know who the guy was that was rowing before he'd even get in." (Salinger) 

Ackley appears to be very particular in his choices of who he associates with socially.  This is very ironic to Holden who views Ackley as a hopeless loser.  Ackley makes choices based on what he wants to do, he doesn't go along just to go along.  Ackley actually has more fun with Brossard, who he claims he doesn't like at all.  Holden doesn't have that much fun on the outing.  He tells the reader that he really doesn't like to go out with Ackley and Brossard because they both laugh at things that are not funny.

Read the study guide:
The Catcher in the Rye

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