The Catcher in the Rye

Robert Ackley Character Analysis

Ackley is a student who lives in the adjoining room to Holden and Stradlater’s room at Pencey Prep. A peculiar and rather annoying young man, Ackley has terrible personal hygiene, bad skin, and unclean teeth. For this reasons, not many people like him, and Ackley’s behavior doesn’t help this situation, since he often lingers and acts like he dislikes people even though it’s obvious he wants them to pay attention to him. This is what he does to Holden on Holden’s last night at Pencey Prep. When Holden and Stradlater get into a fight, Holden retreats into Ackley’s room just because he wants some company, but he finds himself too annoyed by Ackley’s presence to remain in the room, so he decides to leave Pencey Prep and travel on his own to New York City.

Robert Ackley Quotes in The Catcher in the Rye

The The Catcher in the Rye quotes below are all either spoken by Robert Ackley or refer to Robert Ackley. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Phoniness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Little, Brown edition of The Catcher in the Rye published in 2001.
Chapter 3 Quotes

[Ackley] took another look at my hat […]. "Up home we wear a hat like that to shoot deer in, for Chrissake," he said. "That’s a deer shooting hat."

"Like hell it is." I took it off and looked at it. I sort of closed one eye, like I was taking aim at it. "This is a people shooting hat," I said. "I shoot people in this hat."

Related Characters: Holden Caulfield, Robert Ackley
Related Symbols: Holden’s Red Hunting Hat
Page Number: 30
Explanation and Analysis:
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Robert Ackley Character Timeline in The Catcher in the Rye

The timeline below shows where the character Robert Ackley appears in The Catcher in the Rye. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
...with the fencing team. He thinks about how much he likes reading books, but Robert Ackley, his neighbor, barges in and interrupts him. Holden finds Ackley annoying and repulsive, since he’s... (full context)
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
Madness, Depression, Suicide Theme Icon
Ackley asks Holden about the fencing match in New York, and Holden is forced to tell... (full context)
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
...his houndstooth jacket, but Holden hesitates to answer, instead wondering where Stradlater’s date is. Unlike Ackley, Holden is rather fond of Stradlater, despite the fact that he’s an overly confident person... (full context)
Chapter 4
Phoniness Theme Icon
...“secret” slob, who is handsome but has personal habits that are nearly as dirty as Ackley’s, though nobody would ever know this unless they roomed with him. As he shaves, he... (full context)
Women and Sex Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
...Holden’s houndstooth jacket, reminding him to do his English homework, and leaving. When he’s gone, Ackley barges in once more. This time, though, Holden is happy to see him, since he... (full context)
Chapter 5
Phoniness Theme Icon
Women and Sex Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
After dinner, Holden convinces his friend Mal Brossard to let Ackley come see a movie with them. Although nobody ever invites him anywhere, Ackley pretends to... (full context)
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Madness, Depression, Suicide Theme Icon
Finally, Holden tells Ackley to leave so he can work on Stradlater’s English homework. The assignment is to write... (full context)
Chapter 6
Phoniness Theme Icon
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
Madness, Depression, Suicide Theme Icon
...tough, though he thinks of himself as a “pacifist.” He then decides to go into Ackley’s room because he’s certain that the commotion must have woken him up, and he doesn’t... (full context)
Chapter 7
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
Madness, Depression, Suicide Theme Icon
When Holden enters Ackley’s room, he blinds him by turning on the light. Annoyed but too intrigued to stop... (full context)
Chapter 18
Phoniness Theme Icon
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
...to the idea of having to spend so much time with people like Stradlater or Ackley, who Holden thinks are the sort of people who would be in the military.  (full context)
Chapter 26
Phoniness Theme Icon
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Madness, Depression, Suicide Theme Icon
...Pencey. Oddly enough, he finds himself missing the people in the story he’s just told—even Ackley and Stradlater. This, Holden says, is why people shouldn’t talk so much about their lives,... (full context)