Robert Ackley is Holden Caulfield’s unhygienic neighbour “the whole time he roomed next to me , I never even once saw him brush his teeth” (p.10) .
Throughout the passage I get the idea that Ackley is mostly tolerated by Holden , most of the other lads do not care much about him. Salinger writes about his face filled with pimples, not just on parts of his face but all over it and his terrible personality , Ackley was certainly not a looker and his tall nature and having round -shoulders confirms that . Usually guys like him are odd looking with flat behinds and three quarter short trousers. Though Holden spends time with Robert he does not like him much , I believe Salinger was being realistic with the description of Ackley , people who have terrible personalities and unappealing body structures are hardly liked by others , one needs to balance I mean people have to like you for something. However Ackley is stuck in his ways , he is not going to brush his teeth for no one . It’s a normal thing for people to brush their teeth at least once a day but Ackley resents Stradlater for telling him to brush his teeth.With the wife deaf, old Spencer having grippe , them being elderly and living on their own without a maid Holden tells us the obvious that ” they didn’t have too much dough”(p3) , although Salinger makes Holden to come across as someone who feels sorry for the Spencer’s , I do not feel that Holden Genuinely does. Mr Spencer tries to reprimand Holden but he is unsuccessful, Holden is rather focused on the irritation by the smell of Vicks nose drops and Spencers awful looking bathrobe that’s supposedly old as him as Holden over exaggerates .
I believe Salinger chose the character of Spencer to reprimand Holden because he was old and somehow wise and someone Holden was fond of.