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I have to come up with another topic sentence for my essay on The Catcher in the Rye by...

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apego | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 26, 2009 at 9:21 AM via web

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I have to come up with another topic sentence for my essay on The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.  I need help!! Please!

The topic sentence has to be about how Holden acts childish, but I need references about how adults would handle the situation as well.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 26, 2009 at 11:00 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that you will need different moments where Holden's "childish" tendencies could be contrasted with the actions of adults.  I think that pointing out Holden's inability to deal with "phonies" could be one such instance.  Holden cannot find the internal strength to be able to work through situations where adults are behaving in duplicitous manners.  An instance where an adult might differ from Holden would lie in being able to deal with such situations.  Additionally, Holden's preoccupation with children, being the "catcher in the rye," might lie in the realm of being different than other adults.  It seems that Holden possesses a childish desire for perfection and purity, which might be different than an adult, who could be different in such a situation where working through it might be the pattern of behavior.

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted November 26, 2009 at 5:02 PM (Answer #2)

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How is Holden Caulfield presented as both a strong and a weak character in J D Slainger's novel 'Catcher In The Rye?'

A topic sentence like this would allow you to explore the ways in which Holden still clings on to the things of his youth like a security blanket, as he stands on the verge of manhood and contemplates taking on board the idea of standing on his own two feet and paying his own way in the adult world with all that might entail. (Tolerating 'fake' occupations and personalities, signing up to the 'American Dream' with all its seemingly false promises etc.) You could then talk about how adults who 'have made it through' to self-reliance might have surmounted these obstacles and why Holden's humans frailties and personality issues made this so difficult for him.

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