From The Catcher in the Rye, create a title for chapter 8, 12, 15, 22, 23 describing events, moods or significance of the individual chapter and explain the significance of the particular chapter...

From The Catcher in the Rye, create a title for chapter 8, 12, 15, 22, 23 describing events, moods or significance of the individual chapter and explain the significance of the particular chapter to the novel and a well supported explanation of the title.

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

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By its own very nature, creating title for specific chapters of a book is going to be subjective.  A title is an impression that the reader has of the chapter, something that can change from individual to individual.  It is with this in mind that I submit my titles for the specific chapters.  My hope is that they serve as a potential springboard for others to examine what is in the chapter that might connect with the title.

Chapter 8- Big Lies

I think that this might be a good title for chapter 8 because the entire chapter revolves around deception.  On one level, there is the deception of Mrs. Morrow. Holden tells her lies in order for her to believe that her son is more than he is.  Additionally, the stories that Holden tells are complete lies in that they create an entirely new persona of Ernest. Holden's deception show how much his life is a lie. While he rails against phonies, it becomes clear that he, himself, is not entirely authentic.  Rather than embracing the truth, Holden retreats to the pantheon of lies when he speaks with Mrs. Morrow.  It is in this display and the brazen nature of his lies that the reader can see the flawed condition of Holden, a narrator that preaches loyalty to the truth, but cannot embrace it at critical moments when called upon to do so.

Chapter 12- Talking without Speaking

There is an overall mood of alienation present in chapter 12.  It is one of the most profound moments where Holden's alienation from the world and from others around him is evident.  Holden goes to great lengths alienating himself from Horwitz, who rejects Holden's attempt at community in not accepting a drink with him.  Holden is alienate from seeing his own transgressions when he fails to recognize that he is guilty of the very same things as the Joe Yale-looking guy. Holden alienates himself apart from the girl who knows his brother, and leaves essentially alienated from everyone around him.  The picture painted at the end of chapter 12 is one where Holden is incapable of experiencing human contact with anyone around him.  The title of the chapter comes from a verse of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence."  Holden is immersed in a contradictory landscape where he is "talking without speaking" and "hearing without listening."  There are songs written which will never be shared, and the end result is that Holden's lack of social connection is infecting his own being in the world from a psychological standpoint.  The title speaks to the alienation that follows Holden throughout the book and is a part of his characterization.

Chapter 15- Momentary Connection

I think that one of the most interesting elements to come out of chapter 15 is that Holden actually shows a moment of connection towards the nuns.  It is an instant, but it is a pure one.  It is one where Holden's alienated condition that prevents him from contact does not fully overwhelm him.  Rather, he finds there there is some, in relative context for Holden, connection.  It is in this chapter where it is clear that Holden is capable of developing some type of substantive contact with another human being.  It is in this light where an aspect of Holden's character is revealed.  When Holden is embarrassed at both not giving them more money and also blowing smoke in their face, it is a reflection of connection with another person.  In this light, Holden's display of momentary connection shows a layer of depth in his characterization.

Chapters 22 and 23- The Face of Love

I think that being able to capture the small level of redemption that is evident in Chapters 22 and 23 can be seen in Phoebe and the effect she has on him.  It is in this regard that she is The Face of Love for Holden.  The antipathy and sense of anger with which he has interacted with the world, the emotions that have come to define him, are put into context with the prominent role that Phoebe plays in these two chapters.  Phoebe represents that face of love that causes Holden to recognize that there can be redemption and restoration, and that the secret to modern consciousness is to be in the world and not of the world.  Holden found this in the instant of the nuns, but he finds it in a more substantive manner when it comes to the feelings he has towards Phoebe.  In both chapters, Phoebe is a force of strength, compassion, and care that prevents Holden from being able to end it all and/ or condemn the world as thoroughly without meaning.  It is through his love of Phoebe that Holden affirms his dream of being "the catcher in the rye" and that he finds meaning in his love and devotions towards his little sister.  In giving him her Christmas money and he giving her his hunting hat, Holden has established a sense of connection with something larger than himself, in what he comes to see as the face of love.

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