INDEX: • Conspiracy! • Quick Introduction • The Characters • The Plot • The Themes • The Motifs • The Symbols • The Author
Death of John Lennon • Former Beatle • Mark Chapman had just shot five bullets into John Lennon. He sat down on the sidewalk, took out a book from his overcoat pocket....and read several pages while waiting for the police. • http://www.lennon-chapman.com/new4.htm
President Regan assassination attempt • John Hinckley had a copy of Catcher in the Rye in his hotel room. • It was found after he fired six bullets at President Regan. • http://www.history.com/video.do?name=americanhistory&bcpid=1676043206&bclid=1675979561&bctid=1589671552
Author -- J.D. Salinger • Born in New York City, Jan. 1, 1919 • Publishes Catcher in The Rye in 1951 • Catcher was banned in America after it's first publication in 1951
Salinger’s main character, Holden Caulfield epitomizes the growing pains of an entire generation of high school students
Setting: New York City • Holden is from a wealthy area of New York City • Holden is kicked out of Pency Prep • Story is told over a 3 day period in December in the early 1950s
The Characters: • Holden Caulfield • Phoebe Caulfield • Allie Caulfield • Ackley • Stradlater • Jane Gallagher
What’s in a name? Hold-On Caul-fied • a “caul” is a membrane that covers the head of a fetus during birth. Thus, the caul in his name may symbolize the blindness of childhood or the inability of the child to see the complexity of the adult world. • Holden’s full name might be read as Hold-on Caul-field: he wants to hold on to what he sees as his innocence, which is really his blindness.
The protagonist and narrator of the novel sixteen-year-old junior who has just been expelled for academic failure Extremely negative and judgmental Views the adult word as “Phony” Holden Caulfield
Phoebe Caulfield Holden's ten-year-old sister Her childish innocence is one of Holden's only consistent sources of happiness Phoebe seems to recognize that Holden is his own worst enemy.
Characters - Allie Caulfield • Holden's younger brother • Dies of leukemia three years before the start of the novel • Holden carries around a baseball glove on which Allie used to write poems in green ink.
Characters – Ackley • Holden's next-door neighbor in his dorm at Pencey Prep • pimply, insecure boy with terrible dental hygiene • often barges into Holden's room and acts completely oblivious to Holden's hints that he should leave
Characters - Stradlater • Holden's roommate at Pencey Prep • Stradlater is sexually active and experienced for a prep school student • Holden calls him a “sexy bastard.”
Characters – Jane Gallagher • girl with whom Holden spent a lot of time one summer • Jane never actually appears in novel • Jane is extremely important to Holden because she is one of the few girls whom he both respects and finds attractive.
The Plot: • Holden Caulfield, the narrator of The Catcher in the Rye, begins with the novel with an authoritative statement that he does not intend for the novel to serve as his life story. Currently in psychiatric care, this teenager recalls what happened to him last Christmas, the story which forms the narrative basis for the novel.
Plot 2. • Holden returns to his dormitory where he finds Robert Ackley *Holden tells about how Allie died of leukemia several years before and how he broke all of the windows in his garage out of anger the night that he died.
Plot 3. • Holden decides to leave Pencey to return to New York City, where he will stay in a hotel before actually going home. • While he is walking he feels depressed when he hears children singing the song "If a body catch a body coming through the rye." When Holden sees Sally immediately wants to marry her, even though he does not like Sally.
Plot 4. • He tells Phoebe, whom he known for some time that he would like to be "a catcher in the rye," and he imagines himself standing at the edge of a cliff as children play around him. He would catch them before they ran too close to the cliff.
Plot 6. • Holden spends the night at Grand Central Station, then sends a note to Phoebe at school, telling her to meet him for lunch. He becomes increasingly distraught and delusional, believing that he will die every time he crosses the street and falling unconscious after suffering from diarrhea. • When he meets Phoebe, she tells him that she wants to go with him and becomes angry when he refuses. He buys Phoebe a ticket for the carousel at the nearby zoo, and as he watches her, he begins to cry.
Plot 7. • Holden ends his story here. He refuses to tell what happened next and how he got sick, and tells how people are concerned about whether or not he will apply himself next year. He ends the story by telling that he misses Stradlater and Ackley and even Maurice.
1)The “Catcher in the Rye” 1) In Chapter 22, when Phoebe asks Holden what he wants to do with his life, he replies with his image, from the song, of a “catcher in the rye.” Holden imagines a field of rye perched high on a cliff, full of children romping and playing. He says he would like to protect the children from falling off the edge of the cliff by “catching” them if they were on the verge of tumbling over. The Symbols:
Symbols – Ducks in the Lagoon • represents the curiosity of youth and a joyful willingness to encounter the mysteries of the world • Unlike his brother’s death, the ducks prove that some vanishings are only temporary (migrate for the winter). • The pond part frozen and part unfrozen, symbolizing a transition between two states, just as Holden is in transition between childhood and adulthood.
2)Holden’s Red Hunting Hat The red hunting hat is inseparable from our image of Holden, with good reason: it is a symbol of his uniqueness and individuality. The hat is outlandish, and it shows that Holden desires to be different from everyone around him. Symbols 2.
The Themes: • Alienation as a Form of Self-Protection • The Painfulness of Growing Up • The Phoniness of the Adult World
Alienation as a Form of Self-Protection • Throughout the novel, Holden seems to be excluded from and victimized by the world around him. As he says to Mr. Spencer, he feels trapped on “the other side” of life, and he continually attempts to find his way in a world in which he feels he doesn’t belong.
The Painfulness of Growing Up • The Catcher in the Rye is a novel about a young character’s growth into maturity. While it is appropriate to discuss the novel in such terms, Holden Caulfield is an unusual protagonist for a because his central goal is to resist the process of maturity itself.
The Phoniness of the Adult World • “Phoniness,” which is probably the most famous phrase from The Catcher in the Rye, is one of Holden’s favorite concepts. It is his catch-all for describing the superficiality, hypocrisy, pretension, and shallowness that he encounters in the world around him. • Phoniness, for Holden, stands as an emblem of everything that’s wrong in the world around him and provides an excuse for him to withdraw into his cynical isolation.
Motifs • Loneliness • Relationships, Intimacy, and Sexuality • Lying and Deception
Loneliness: • Holden’s loneliness, a more concrete manifestation of his alienation problem, is a driving force throughout the book. Most of the novel describes his almost manic quest for companionship as he flits from one meaningless encounter to another.
Relationships, Intimacy, and Sexuality: • Relationships, intimacy, and sexuality are also recurring motifs relating to the larger theme of alienation. Both physical and emotional relationships offer Holden opportunity to break out of his isolated shell. They also represent what he fears most about the adult world: complexity, unpredictability, and potential for conflict and change.
Lying and Deception: • Lying and deception are the most obvious and hurtful elements of the larger category of phoniness. Holden’s definition of phoniness relies mostly on a kind of self-deception: he seems to reserve the most scorn for people who think that they are something they are not or who refuse to acknowledge their own weaknesses. But lying to others is also a kind of phoniness. Of course, Holden himself is guilty of both these crimes. His random and repeated lying highlights his own self-deception