Suggested Essay Topics
1. Discuss Holden’s obsession with phoniness.
2. Discuss Holden’s view of the relationship between knowing and feeling.
3. Discuss Salinger’s use of dialect. Compare or contrast Holden’s dialect with the dialect of teenagers today.
1. Discuss Dr. Thurmer’s concept of life as a “game.” Do you agree with it? Why? Why not?
2. Discuss the relationship between Holden and Mr. Spencer. Is it a personal, caring relationship or simply a professional relationship between teacher and student?
3. Discuss the conflicting teenage emotions of sometimes feeling like a child and sometimes feeling like an adult. Discuss whether teenagers sometimes want to be treated as adults and at other times want to be treated as children.
1. Holden says that a book is good, if, when you are finished, you wish the author were a personal friend of yours so you could call him on the telephone whenever you feel like it. What authors do you wish were your personal friends? What would you like to say to them?
2. Holden describes Ossenburger’s religion as bogus. Discuss religious beliefs which you feel that Holden would regard as genuine.
1. According to Stradlater, good writing is simply a question of getting the commas in the right places. What do you think are...
(The entire section is 1282 words.)
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