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J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye

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

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

2 The Catcher in the Rye “Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all…What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff…That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye…I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.” - Holden Caulfield

3 Holden Caulfield This troubled teenager from New York is the creation of J. D. Salinger. Readers first met Holden in stories published in The New Yorker in the 1940s: “I’m Crazy” “Slight Rebellion Off Madison”

4 “I’m Crazy” Is Holden crazy? That’s for us to decide.
Ever since its publication, the novel has stirred debate over Holden’s psychological condition. One literary critic argues, “If originally published today, the novel would probably create little publicity or garner only average book sales.” In the Post-Modern era, maybe this is all stuff we’ve seen before. But we’ll see that not everyone feels this way.

5 Top Five Most Banned Books
Of Mice and Men Forever Our Bodies, Ourselves The Catcher in the Rye Go Ask Alice Source: National Council of Teachers of English

6 J. D. Salinger “All of my best friends are children. It’s almost unbearable for me to realize that my book will be kept on a shelf out of their reach.” - J. D. Salinger, 1955

7 Who is this Salinger anyways?
Born in 1919 and raised in New York. In 1933, flunked out of a private high school, just like Holden does in Catcher. In 1942, drafted to serve in WWII; fought in D-Day and Battle of the Bulge, just like Holden’s brother does in Catcher. A famous author, but not very prolific; Catcher is his only true novel. Has lived as a recluse for decades; Catcher explores Salinger’s feelings of alienation.

8 Have I heard this name before?
You may have. In the movie Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner’s character kidnaps an author. Though the name was changed for the movie, in the book, that author is J.D. Salinger.

9 Has Catcher made the news?
A number of times… We’ve already seen that it has been banned more than almost any other book in the country. Catcher was rejected by several publishers – one that stated “I can’t decide whether Holden is crazy.” Unfortunately, you may know Catcher as the book Mark David Chapman brought with him when he assassinated John Lennon of the Beatles.

10 Our Guiding Questions Is this piece timeless? Are its themes universal? Does it work as well in 2007 as it did in 1951? Is Holden “crazy,” as Salinger’s original title states? Why would he choose The Catcher in the Rye as a title instead of one as blunt as “I’m Crazy”?

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