What is a good discussion point for chapters 16 , 17, or 18 in The Catcher in the Rye?The discussion point should be interesting with an ANALYSIS. Thanks!!!!!!

2 Answers | Add Yours

amarang9's profile pic

amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In The Catcher in the Rye, in Chapter 16, Holden is intrigued by the poor family and, in particular, the child who is singing about “a body catching a body in the rye.” This is obviously significant. This makes Holden feel better, but why? It is because of his fundamental distrust of adults. He thinks children are innocent and that they are basically 'not yet corrupted' by the phoniness of social structures.

Holden relates to this child because of the child's indifference to everything going on around him. That is, the child, like Holden, tries not to pay attention to, or is not affected by, all the 'crap' of the social world, to use one of Holden's favorite words. In Chapter 16, Holden thinks, “He was just singing for the hell of it, you could tell. The cars zoomed by, brakes screeched all over the place, his parents paid no attention to him, and he kept on walking next to the curb and singing “If a body catch a body coming through the rye.”

In Chapter 17, Holden struggles with the rituals of adult relationships, small talk for instance, when he talks with Sally. This is another example of Holden's antipathy towards grown ups and growing up into a world where such rituals are necessary. In Chapter 18, Holden mentions The Great Gatsby. This is interesting because Gatsby was a made up persona; the definition of phony. But Holden seems to appreciate Gatsby as a symbol mocking phoniness. In other words, Gatsby is sort of a paradoxical hero for Holden. Gatsby is someone who creates a new persona, thus holding up this fake persona between his real self and the world. Gatsby becomes a phony, but he does so in order to manipulate the phoniest of phonies of the social elite. Holden must find this admirable since Gatsby is using the phoniness of his social circle against itself. 

Sources:
suvini's profile pic

suvini | Student | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

thanks alot!!!!!

this helped me analyze them  very clearly 

thanks again...

We’ve answered 318,991 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question