The Catcher in the Rye Questions and Answers
by J. D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye book cover
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Discuss the thematic concerns of the novel and show their relation to the time in which the book was published.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would say that one of the pressing themes of the novel is the idea of phoniness and how exterior appearance drives social interactions and one's vision of self.  This is evidenced in Holden's own demeanor toward those he considers "phony" and how he views the "established" and "respected" institutions as hollow and disingenuous.  While society deems...

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