In chapters 1-8 (included), what would be a good question to ask a discussion group?In chapters 1-8 (included), what would be a good question to ask a discussion group?

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

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I think that the most evident question that should be asked would be about Holden Caulfield.  He is the most dominant presence in the first eight chapters.  From this point, many other discussion questions can emerge.  I think that a real interesting discussion would be whether or not Holden is distinct and separate from the world or rather does he become all too consumed with and takes the form of it.  On one hand, Holden might be distinct from this world.  Yet, he seems bound to it by his hatred of it.  In some respects, Holden is victimized by the world around him, needing it for it ends up defining him.  I think that examining if Holden is really "free" might be an interesting discussion point.  Along these lines would be if Holden is right or is the world that he dislikes right.  I think that a common critique of Holden is that he is not a visionary, but rather immature in his ability to deal with the demands of the world on him.  I think that this might be an interesting point of discussion.  At the time of writing, Holden was rather radical.  Now, though, as we have understood more about adolescence, he seems rather tame.  Discussing how the modern "Holden" would look could be another discussion point.  All of these are introduced in the first eight chapters, or the exposition of the work, and the plot revealed thus far could be used as evidence to substantiate points of view that emerge from the first eight chapters.

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