Catcher in the Rye Chapter 3
He heads back to his dormitory at Pencey, and tells a story about Ossenburger, the alumni after whom his dorm is named. This story appears to catch for Holden all of the absurdities of Pencey. Ossenburger, who made his riches in the endeavor service, came back to his old-fashioned to make a solemn speech about how God assisted him be successful, and this speech was interrupted when one trainee discharged a huge fart. Holden gets a kick out of this and sees it as poetic justice. Ossenburger is a phony, and absolutely nothing in his speech deserved hearing, anyhow.
Back in his space in Ossenburger Hall, Holden secures a novel and begins reading. Holden is remarkably earnest about reading for a trainee who’s being tossed out of school, and states, “I’m quite illiterate, however I check out a lot.”
The dormitory is nearly empty, as everyone is at the huge football game. Holden’s enjoying his privacy, and also appears rather tickled by his brand-new red searching hat, which he bought earlier that day in New York. This pleasant privacy is trashed, however, when Holden’s next door next-door neighbor, the gangly and pimply Ackley, enters the room unwanted. Holden tries to be fair in his initial description of Ackley.
But the more he chronicles Ackley’s habits– how he disrupts Holden’s reading by walking around the space, gets things and puts them back in the wrong place and laughs at Holden’s expense– the more of a slob and a jerk Ackley seems. Ackley hates most everybody according to Holden, but Holden accepts him to some degree and does a few small things for him, such unpacking his scissors so Ackley can cut his nails. Ackley truly dislikes Holden’s roommate, Stradlater, however. When Stradlater hurries into the room to prepare for a date, Ackley quickly exits, regardless of the reality Stradlater provides him a civil ‘hello.’