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Introduction to J.D. Salinger’s: The Catcher in the Rye.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to J.D. Salinger’s: The Catcher in the Rye."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to J.D. Salinger’s: The Catcher in the Rye

2 J.D. Salinger 1919 – – 2010 Has written several books about young people including The Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zoey Has written several books about young people including The Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zoey Served in WWII Served in WWII Didn’t grant an interview after 1980! Didn’t grant an interview after 1980!

3 J.D. Salinger Born in NYC to parents Sol and Miriam: father was Jewish, mother, Catholic Born in NYC to parents Sol and Miriam: father was Jewish, mother, Catholic Jerome David Salinger Jerome David Salinger Recognized as one of the most popular and influential authors of American fiction during the second half of the twentieth century. Recognized as one of the most popular and influential authors of American fiction during the second half of the twentieth century. Remained out of the public eye for most of his life. Remained out of the public eye for most of his life.

4 The Catcher in the Rye Published in 1951 Published in 1951 Has sold over 65 million copies world wide! Has sold over 65 million copies world wide! Despite its popular success, the critical response to The Catcher in the Rye was slow in getting under way. Despite its popular success, the critical response to The Catcher in the Rye was slow in getting under way. One of the most frequently challenged books in library/school history because of sex and vulgar language. One of the most frequently challenged books in library/school history because of sex and vulgar language. Named one of the best novels of the 20 th century by Time Magazine. Named one of the best novels of the 20 th century by Time Magazine.

5 Reasons for Banning? Until 2006, Catcher was one of the most frequently banned books. Until 2006, Catcher was one of the most frequently banned books. Mark David Chapman (assassin of John Lennon) and John Hinckley Jr. (attempted assassin of President Ronald Reagan) both had copies of the book in their pockets when they were arrested. Mark David Chapman (assassin of John Lennon) and John Hinckley Jr. (attempted assassin of President Ronald Reagan) both had copies of the book in their pockets when they were arrested.

6 The Catcher in the Rye Tells the story of a teenager expelled from his high school and his journey across NYC in the 1940’s. Tells the story of a teenager expelled from his high school and his journey across NYC in the 1940’s. Issues discussed in the book include: school, teachers, music, sex, alcohol, hypocrisy, family, and being a teenager. Issues discussed in the book include: school, teachers, music, sex, alcohol, hypocrisy, family, and being a teenager. A story is about Holden Caulfield, the 16- year-old protagonist of the novel, and his experiences in school and New York City. A story is about Holden Caulfield, the 16- year-old protagonist of the novel, and his experiences in school and New York City.

7 Holden’s Character and Us Holden Caulfield = sketch of an American teenager Holden Caulfield = sketch of an American teenager Nearly all readers identify with or see some of their friends reflected in different aspects of Holden’s character. Nearly all readers identify with or see some of their friends reflected in different aspects of Holden’s character. Young readers see in Holden Caulfield a little bit of what they are, while older readers see in Holden a bit of what they once were. Young readers see in Holden Caulfield a little bit of what they are, while older readers see in Holden a bit of what they once were. Ultimately, we all know that is some way, Holden is one of us. Ultimately, we all know that is some way, Holden is one of us.

8 Similarities between J.D. Salinger and Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger attended prep schools in NYC and flunked out of McBurney School at 13 J.D. Salinger attended prep schools in NYC and flunked out of McBurney School at 13 He attended Valley Forge Military Academy and graduated at 15 He attended Valley Forge Military Academy and graduated at 15 He has been referred to as a terrible liar, though this is difficult to prove/disprove He has been referred to as a terrible liar, though this is difficult to prove/disprove Alienation from society– Salinger seems determined to keep his life private from outsiders. Alienation from society– Salinger seems determined to keep his life private from outsiders.

9 Point of View First-person limited- we see this story only through Holden’s eyes First-person limited- we see this story only through Holden’s eyes “You”- the psychoanalyst and the reader “You”- the psychoanalyst and the reader Stream of Consciousness; many digressions Stream of Consciousness; many digressions Dialect- Salinger perfected the dialect of the teenage boy Dialect- Salinger perfected the dialect of the teenage boy –This language is the cause of much controversy over the book –This creates a very believable character

10 Themes/Topics Phonies/Societal Pressures Phonies/Societal Pressures –“phony” implies snobbery –Holden hates phonies Adolescence/ Loss of Innocence Adolescence/ Loss of Innocence –Holden is at the in between stage of life, in between a child and an adult –Holden wants to be accepted by children and adults, however, he doesn’t fit into either category

11 Course Themes Within Catcher Conformity vs. Resistance Conformity vs. Resistance IDENTITY FORMATION IDENTITY FORMATION Perception of Truth Perception of Truth Changes in Values over Time Changes in Values over Time Watch for these themes during your reading of the novel. You will be expected to pull examples of each theme out of the novel.

12 Dominant Symbols The Carousel The Carousel The Red Hunting Cap The Red Hunting Cap The Catcher’s Mitt The Catcher’s Mitt The Ducks in Central Park Pond The Ducks in Central Park Pond The Museum of Natural History The Museum of Natural History Pencey Prep Pencey Prep

13 Holden’s Quests Holden is looking for THREE things: Holden is looking for THREE things: –The Innocence of Childhood  Wants things to remain the same as when he was younger –Love –Identity  What do I do with my life? What does this all mean?  How do I live up to expectations and still be an individual?

14 What to look for while reading? This novel is a character study of Holden. This novel is a character study of Holden. –Analyze Holden’s motivations, his personality, and his mental stability. –What’s Holden’s deal? Is there something wrong with him (is he crazy?) or is he a just a normal teenager?

15 The Basics The Setting The Setting Three days including Pencey Prep Boarding School and New York City 1948/49 Three days including Pencey Prep Boarding School and New York City 1948/49 Holden has been expelled and has two days before his parents find out Holden has been expelled and has two days before his parents find out

16 Journal Response Put yourself into Holden’s shoes. What would you do if you were expelled from school and knew that your parents would not know you were expelled for two days? Put yourself into Holden’s shoes. What would you do if you were expelled from school and knew that your parents would not know you were expelled for two days? Plan out those two days and please keep your responses school appropriate. Plan out those two days and please keep your responses school appropriate.


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