The Catcher in the Rye Exam

You will have the whole period (50 minutes) to finish this test. The test is divided into four categories of questions: multiple choice and true/false, vocabulary, short answer, and essay. Please read over all the directions carefully. Make sure you use your time wisely—you should leave about 15 minutes to complete the essay. When you are done with your test, please turn it over, raise your hand and I will come pick it up. Good luck!

Section 1: Multiple Choice and True/False—There is only one correct answer

1. Where does the title of the novel come from?

a. It is a reference to Greek mythology

b. It refers to a game that Holden and Allie would play

c. It is the title of Holden's favorite song

d. It comes from a poem by Robert Burns


Your answer ________


2. From where is Holden telling his story?

a. A prison

b. A hotel

c. A psychiatric facility

d. A bus stop


Your answer ________


3. At the beginning of the novel, which prep school did Holden attend?

a. Pencey

b. Andover

c. Whooton

d. Elkton Hills


Your answer ________


4. How did Allie die?

a. Cancer

b. Leukemia

c. Was killed in WWII

d. Car accident


Your answer ________



4.After his fight with Stradlater, Holden claims that he is a/an ________

a. Sadist

b. Anarchist

c. Wimp

d. Pacifist


Your answer ________



5. How does Holden view the world?

a. Dangerous

b. Exciting

c. Phony

d. Realistic


Your answer ________


6. Holden often wonders about the fate of which animals in Central Park?

a. The squirrels in the Sheep Meadow

b. The goats in the Children’s Zoo

c. The feral dogs roaming the nature preserve

d. The ducks in the lagoon


Your answer ________


7. The elevator operator at the Edmont offers to get Holden a prostitute (T/F)


Your answer ________


8. According to Holden, the best thing about the Museum of Natural History is the fact that there are no phonies there (T/F)


Your answer ________


9. Phoebe chastises Holden because she thinks he does not like anything (T/F)


Your answer ________


10. Just before he leaves her room, Holden gives Phoebe his watch (T/F)


Your answer ________


Section 2: Vocabulary—Write a sentence (or two) defining each word

1. Lavish



2. Suave



3. Ostracize



4. Putrid



5. Qualms


Section 3: Short Answer— Write three to five sentences to answer each question

1. What do you make of Holden’s encounter with Mr. Antolini?  Do you feel he was “making a pass” at Holden?  How do his actions help to prevent Holden from “falling?”






2. What role do Phoebe and Allie play in Holden’s life?  How does he interact with them?  Is it different than the way he interacts with others?






3. Holden discusses the idea of “phoniness” a lot throughout the novel.  How do his beliefs on phoniness affect the way that he interacts with others?  How does it help to create his alienation from society? 





Section 4: Essay—Choose ONE of the essay questions and answer it in a well constructed response (at least one paragraph)

1. In the last chapter, Holden states that he wished he would not have told his story.  After hearing such a statement, do you think that Holden will recover or already has recovered from the alienation problem which he faces?  Is there a change in his identity from the beginning of the novel to the end that would represent this recovery?

2. Throughout the novel Holden comes to interact with many different people.  How have these interactions helped or hindered the person that he has become? Do any of these people play a significant role in his life?  Have they impacted him in any way?