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The Catcher in the Rye

by J. D. Salinger

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Chapter 2 Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. What had Mr. Spencer bought and shown the boys when they were visiting him one Sunday?

2. What advice did Dr. Thurmer give to Holden?

3. Did Holden agree with Dr. Thurmer’s description of life as a game? Explain your answer.

4. Was Pencey Prep really the fourth school from which Holden was asked to leave? Explain your answer.

5. What did Holden think about Mr. Spencer’s description of his parents as “grand people”?

6. Why did Holden write Mr. Spencer a note at the end of his examination paper?

7. What was Holden thinking about while he said the following: “I told him I was a real moron, and all that stuff. I told him how I would’ve done exactly the same thing if I’d been in his place, and how most people didn’t appreciate how tough it is being a teacher.”

8. Why did Holden leave Elkton Hills School?

9. What excuse did Holden give Mr. Spencer for having to end the visit?

10. Holden told Mr. Spencer not to worry about him. What reason did he give for not worrying?

1. Mr. Spencer had bought a Navajo blanket from an Indian in Yellowstone Park.

2. Dr. Thurmer said that life was a game and should be played according to the rules.

3. Holden felt that life was a game only if you were on the team with all the “hot-shots.” But if you were on the other side, i.e., with no hot-shots, then it was not a game.

4. Holden said it was “about the fourth school,” but the names of only two other schools are mentioned in the novel: Whooton School and Elkton Hills School.

5. Holden disliked the use of the word “grand.” He said that use of it was phony.

6. Holden wrote the note so that Mr. Spencer would not feel badly about flunking him.

7. Holden was thinking about the ducks in Central Park, i.e., where they went when the lagoon froze over.

8. Holden left Elkton Hills School primarily because he was surrounded by phonies.

9. Holden said that he had to go to the gym to pick up equipment in order to take it home with him.

10. Holden said that he was just going through a phase and that everyone goes through phases.

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