Ackley vs Stradlater

Turns out, I’m taking notes on this book the way that I take notes on anything. I got swept away with the grand idea, and then it fizzled, and now I’m trudging. Now I’m slogging. Now I’m shuffling my feet down this hallway that’s a lot damn longer than I thought it was.


I’m not gonna go all 2000 words for every 15 of Salinger. For one thing, hardly anybody really wants to read that shit. For another, I just don’t have time, my friends. I have so much stuff to do. I have lists and post-its and an app that keeps dinging to tell me I’m supposed to have been doing something for the last 15 minutes, only now it’s time to do something else, and there’s no time to play catch up. You just gotta move one.

You just gotta.

Chapter three… I’m a fan of how Holden hates Ackley. I like Holden’s cap. I like how he says “you either freeze to death or die from the heat.” It’s something like that. You’re either left to feel too alone, or you’re smothered by people you’d rather not talk to.

Only… Holden secretly enjoys plenty of things he pretends are just the worst. He doesn’t like movies, but he loves acting them out (that’s in Chapter 4). He hates Ackley in chapter 3, but in chapter 4, as soon as Stradlater mentions Jane, Holden starts exhibiting all the same annoying characteristics he was just complaining about a few minutes prior.

And Jane… Oh boy, does this kid have it bad for Jane. I mean, if you’ve read the book, you know this already, but reading it through again… Absolutely fucking smitten he is with the very idea of her. But he doesn’t want to talk to her. He’s too nervous or… He says he isn’t in the mood. Mhm. Been there, pal. And now he’s all glad to see Ackley. He’s glad to have a distraction, as annoying as it is.

None too much depth in my analysis here. I could mention something about Stradlater stretching out Holden’s jacket. I could talk about someone being so put together while also being a secret snob. I could talk about the irony of a flunkee being conscripted to write a descriptive essay, but I think I’ll let it stew a bit. That damn app of mine says I’m supposed to be doing something I must have thought was a good idea a few days ago, only now I’m sort of annoyed at past me for having the audacity to try to tell me what to do.


Engage The Hofflebrock

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