Catcher In The Rye
A Web Quest By: Jill Malinowski and Justine Neill
When analyzing J.D. Salinger's novel, The Catcher In The Rye, one can determine the novel had an impact on the teenage society of the 1950's and 1960's. The story of a troubled teen interested people of all ages. Teenagers enjoyed this book because it was incomparable to the other books at the time. They felt that they could relate because themes in this book include; depression, failing, running away, figuring yourself out, and fake people. All or at least one of these themes can be related to a teenager.
What lasting influence has the Catcher in the Rye had on American culture?
What other examples of the "Holden" archetype have you seen in modern media?
What trends do you see in the types of people who are drawn to the novel? Why could this be?
Why do you think The Catcher in the Rye is so constantly referenced? Why does it hold such a central role in our culture? Is this role deserved?
How are presidential attempted assination and the murder of John Lennon associated to The Catcher In The Rye?
Why and how does Catcher fit into the banned book classification?
Have perceptions of the novel changed throughout time? If so, how?
What were some of the reviews on Catcher when the novel first appeared in bookstores? Why did people feel this way about the novel?
"a beautifully deft, professional performer who gives us a chance to catch quick, half-amused, half-frightened glimpses of ourselves and our contemporaries, as he confronts us with his brilliant mirror images" (Stevenson 217). This is a positive review on the novel, this person praises Salinger for writing this book.
"I first read The Catcher in the Rye in high school, probably around 1985. It was surrounded in all it’s controversial glory even then, replete with profanity, teenage sex (or should I say sexual frustration, drinking and overall typical adolescent angst-filled self absorption," (BlogSpot). This shows a negative review on Catcher In The Rye.
Why do readers and critics feel so much animosity towards Salinger’s characters?
In this part of the book Holden shows multiple characteristics. For one, he shows that he is a rebellious teen. Most teenagers wouldn't have the guts to pack up and leave school without telling their friends. Mostly because they have no where to go and don't want to upset their parents. However Holden doesn't tell his parents and doesn't seem to care what his parents think anymore. In the 50's Catcher In The Rye was banned for multiple reasons, but one of them was teen rebellion. This is a prime example of Holden showing that he is a rebellious teenager.
2. Sex is something I really don't understand too hot. You never know where the hell you are. I keep making up these sex rules for myself, and then I break them right away. Last year I made a rule that I was going to quit horsing around with girls that, deep down, gave me a pain in the ass. I broke it, though, the same week I made it – the same night, as a matter of fact. I spent the whole night necking with a terrible phony named Anne Louise Sherman. Sex is something I just don't understand. I swear to God I don't." Page 63 Chapter 9
In the 1950s it was considered to be inappropriate if teens talked of sex. In this part of the book Holden casually discusses his thoughts on sex and his understanding of it. There are multiple reasons that this book was banned. These reasons include sex, vulgarity, and rebellion. Holden shares that he doesnt understand sex, this to us shows that he is not as mature as he trys to be. Holden is constantly trying to act like an adult, when really he's a teenager who acts like a child. For example Holden is childish when it comes to trying to buy drinks, whenever he is denied he throws a fit just as a child would.
"Assassins prefer 'Catcher in the Rye.'" snopes.com. N.p., 11 May 2005. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. <http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=8262>.
Lomazoff, Eric. "salinger.gif The Praises and Criticisms of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye." levity.com. Eric Lomazoff, 1996. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. <http://www.levity.com/corduroy/salinger1.htm>.
"Why I Hate 'The Catcher in the Rye.'" Blog Spot. N.p., 16 Dec. 2007. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. <http://currythief.blogspot.com/2007/12/why-i-hate-catcher-in-rye.html>.
Yardley, Jonathan. "J.D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield, Aging Gracelessly." The Washington Post. N.p., 4 Oct. 2004. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/jd-salingers-holden-caulfield-aging-gracelessly/2013/08/27/04127c00-0f5b-11e3-85b6-d27422650fd5_story.html>.
Zora. "why was catcher in the rye banned?" askville.com. amazon, n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. <http://askville.amazon.com/catcher-rye-banned/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=1218557>.
2. Why can teenagers relate to the book Catcher in the Rye?
3. The book Catcher in the Rye was "the first book of its time". T/F
4. Who murdered John Lennon and what was he holding when he committed the murder?
5. In the book Catcher in the Rye, Holden likes phonies. T/F
6. What are two reasons the book was banned?
7. Perceptions of the book have improved over time. T/F
8. Why have perceptions of the book changed?
9. When first released the book got many good reviews from critics. T/F
10. The character Holden was a hypocrite when it came to talking about phonies. T/F
2. Most can connect it to events in their own life.
4. Mark David Chapman he was holding a copy of Catcher in the Rye.
6. Obscene language and sexuality.
8. In the '50s that was the first time that teens started acting out, now teen rebellion is more common.