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Holden returns to Phoebe’s room and eventually gets her to listen

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Presentation on theme: "Holden returns to Phoebe’s room and eventually gets her to listen"— Presentation transcript:

1 Phoebe’s correction of Holden’s misinterpretation serves to highlight Holden’s naivete.
Holden returns to Phoebe’s room and eventually gets her to listen. He tries to explain why he fails his classes and tells her all the things he hates about school. She responds by accusing him of hating everything. He tries to refute her claim, and she challenges him to name one thing he likes. He becomes preoccupied, thinking about the nuns he met at breakfast. He also thinks about James Castle, a boy he knew at Elkton Hills School who jumped out of a window to his death while being tormented by other boys. He finally tells her that he likes Allie, and she reminds him angrily that Allie is dead. She asks what he wants to do with his life, and his only answer is to mention the lyric, “If a body catch a body comin’ through the rye.” Holden says that he imagines a gigantic field of rye on a cliff full of children playing. He wants to stand at the edge of the cliff and catch the children when they come too close to falling off—to be “the catcher in the rye.” Phoebe points out that Holden has misheard the words—the actual lyric, from the Robert Burns poem, “Coming Thro’ the Rye,” is “If a body meet a body coming through the rye.” Holden is not aware of the sexual connotations in the poem, and attached an erroneous meaning to the song which Phoebe is aware is incorrect- even if she is not fully aware of the adult subject addressed in the poem (about casual sexual relationships). Furthermore, she points out the juvenile nature of his desire be something which cannot be.

2 Symbols: Developing Theme
The Museum of Natural History Theme of Fear of death Holden tells us the symbolic meaning of the museum’s displays: they appeal to him because they are frozen and unchanging. He also mentions that he is troubled by the fact that he has changed every time he returns to them. The museum represents the world Holden wishes he could live in: it’s the world of his “catcher in the rye” fantasy, a world where nothing ever changes, where everything is simple, understandable, and infinite. Holden is terrified by the unpredictable challenges of the world—he hates conflict, he is confused by Allie’s senseless death, and he fears interaction with other people.

3 The Ducks in the Central Park Lagoon --Fear of Change (linked to fear of death)
. his search for the ducks represents the curiosity of youth and a joyful willingness to encounter the mysteries of the world The ducks prove that some vanishings are only temporary. Traumatized and made acutely aware of the fragility of life by his brother Allie’s death, Holden is terrified by the idea of change and disappearance. The ducks vanish every winter, but they return every spring, thus symbolizing change that isn’t permanent, but cyclical.

4   Holden’s Red Hunting Hat: a symbol of his uniqueness and individuality.
The hat is outlandish, and it shows that Holden desires to be different from everyone around him. At the same time, he is very self-conscious about the hat—he always mentions when he is wearing it, and he often doesn’t wear it if he is going to be around people he knows. The presence of the hat, therefore, mirrors the central conflict in the book: Holden’s need for isolation versus his need for companionship.

5 Red hat (con’t) As the novel progresses, we begin to perceive that Holden’s alienation is his way of protecting himself. Just as he wears his hunting hat (see “Symbols,” below) to advertise his uniqueness, he uses his isolation as proof that he is better than everyone else around him and therefore above interacting with them. The truth is that interactions with other people usually confuse and overwhelm him, and his cynical sense of superiority serves as a type of self-protection. Thus, Holden’s alienation is the source of what little stability he has in his life.

6 Unit Test: Test Review: Section A: 20 Marks Multiple Choice
Section B: 2 short answer. You will be given a quote from the novel. You must explain the significance of the quote in developing a theme. 1 Essay (choose from 3 options): Write a well-developed 5 paragraph Expository essay. Include a thesis statement.

7 Essay Topics: 1. Salinger weaves a variety of symbols into The Catcher in the Rye, including (but not limited to) the red hunting hat, the ducks in Central Park, and Allie.s mitt. Select and analyze one symbol that Salinger uses in the book. Explain how Salinger develops this object as a symbol throughout the story (see Journal 88). Discuss the symbol.s meaning and significance, and explore its contributions to the overall message of the novel.

8 Essay Outline Write a working thesis statement which mentions the focus of the three body paragraphs.

9 Critic David D. Galloway said,
Critic David D. Galloway said, .Wherever Holden turns, his craving for truth seems to be frustrated by the phoniness of the world.. Analyze Holden.s use of the word .phony.. What does the word mean in the context of the book, and does Holden offer any alternative to phoniness? Is Holden himself guilty of being a phony? How does Salinger want readers to judge ideas about phoniness?

10 Discuss the meaning or impact of the title of the book as a central, controlling symbol of the story. How does Holden.s wish to be the .catcher in the rye. help readers understand both his character and the nature of his deep troubles and concerns about life? Be sure to address the significance of Holden.s misreading of the Robert Burns poem.

11 Critic Maxwell Geismar writes,
Critic Maxwell Geismar writes, .The Catcher in the Rye protests, to be sure, against both the academic and social conformity of its period. But what does it argue for?. Write an essay to explain what the book .argues for." What might Salinger have been trying to communicate to his readers through this novel, and how does he do so?

12 Explain how Mr. Antolini’s words of advice help develop a theme : “Life is a game , boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules.” Explain how Mr. Antolini’s words of advice help develop a theme : “Life is a game , boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules.” In all areas of life Holden wants to rebel: he is expelled from several schools, he rebels against his parents and teacher’s expectations. Mr. Antolini puts things in perspective from him: “This fall I think you’re riding’s a horrible kind. The man falling isn’t permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom... The whole arrangement’s designed for men who, at some point in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn’t supply them with. So they gave up looking. They gave it up before really got started.” (Salinger 187)

13 Explain how Mr. Antolini’s words of advice help develop a theme : “Life is a game , boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules.” He is saying that Holden cannot keep running from his fears of becoming a conformist. If he doesn’t face reality, he will hit rock bottom and never get back on his feet. Critic’s Theme: “In order to survive in society there must be conformity to a certain degree, but never to the point where the individual forgets who he or she is, losing all unique qualities of that individual.” In all areas of Holden wants to rebel

14 Phoniness in the Adult world:
Holden equates phoniness to “selling out” . He uses the example of his older brother to prove his point as he describes his brother writing for Hollywood productions “prostituting” himself or not being true to his art as a writer in creating superficial work to please the general public, Holden believes that if his brother were not selling out or less phony, his writing would be more meaningful. What Holden doesn’t see if that in order to be successful or survive in the adult world, one must adapt to what society wants. He does not see that his brother could be “less phony” but by doing that (ie: writing to please himself rather than others), he would not be able to make a living at writing. Holden sees things in black and white through a very immature lense that doesn’t factor in the harsh realities of surviving in this world.

15 Phoniness in the Adult world:
Phoniness is the phrase which Holden uses to describe all that he perceives in the world that is superficial, hypocritical, or shallow. In Chap[ter 22, Holden states that he believes all adults are phonies and that they are blind to it. This view gives him an excuse to withdraw into isolation. Throughout the novel he encounters many characters who in their own way all display superficiality or shallowness. Holden never however, sees the “phoniess” in himself. He plays a prank on Mrs. Morrow on the train which is mean and self-serving– all the flaws which is quick to identify in others. The world is not as black and white as Holden would like to pretend it is. The world cannot be evenly divided between phonies (all adults) and the virtuous (which he believes himself to be).


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