I think it would be awkward to use the actual words, “appearance vs. reality” in a thesis statement, so let’s think about other ways to say the same thing.
“Appearance vs. reality” is considered a binary opposite or an example of a duality found in literature. Binary opposites often show a theme or idea that the author is trying to convey through a series of opposites. In this novel and in other cases, “appearance vs. reality” means what appears to be isn’t necessarily real or true.
If you look at my explanation of the essay topic, you can see some key words start to stand out. Here are the dominant words or ideas of the topic: Binary opposites, duality, themes, and what appears to be isn’t necessarily real or true.
Take these key words (or key words from the actual prompt) and form a thesis statement.
In The Catcher in the Rye, the use of opposites by the author, J. D. Salinger, shows that what appears to be isn’t necessarily true because X, Y, Z. (X, Y, and Z would be examples your body paragraphs would discuss as support for your thesis. Now, you need to find examples of appearance vs. reality in the novel).
Throughout the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, the use of dualities by the author, J. D. Salinger, shows a distinction between appearance and reality throughX, Y, and Z.
A central theme in the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, is the idea that what appears to be isn’t necessarily real as shown by X, Y, and Z.
Instead of listing X, Y, and Z in your thesis, you can make a more general statement of how or why Salinger uses “appearance vs. reality”, and then get more specific in our body paragraphs.