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The Catcher in the Rye Teaching Unit
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- At the conclusion of this novel, do you think Holden’s emotional condition has gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed the same?
- Since its publication as a novel in 1951, this book has been very popular with high school students. Identify three or four elements in this book that account for its popularity.
- This novel has as its protagonist a young boy who goes to private schools in the 1940’s. Is this novel relevant to the youth of today, or has it outlived its period and has little to say to today’s adolescents? Adopt a point of view in response to this idea, and support your answer.
- To what extent is the novel a good example of a “rite of passage” novel?
- Holden Caulfield is an alienated youth. Identify who it is that he is alienated from, and discuss why he is alienated.
- What gives this novel its distinctive style? Comment on how the style of this novel is different from the style of other novels.
- A major theme in this novel is “loss of innocence.” Cite those incidents in the novel that support this point; also cite the significance of the title and show how it relates to the theme.
- Pick any two strangers Holden meets throughout the book. Describe how he deals with them. Compare and contrast his treatment of them with the way he treats people he actually knows.
About this Document
A teaching unit and individual learning packet from Prestwick House. Includes the following: comprehensive chapter-by-chapter study guides for students; questions suitable for essay topics or discussion; vocabulary lists; multiple-choice and essay test with answer key; introductory material from Prestwick House to familiarize both students and teachers with the work.