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14 Good Essay Topics Related To The Catcher In The Rye

Catcher in the Rye is a masterpiece of American literature. It was controversial when it was first published and remains a novel that stirs thoughts and reactions. Part of studying this work is the composition of an essay about it. If you are a teacher assigning a composition on Catcher in the Rye, you can think about these possible topics for an essay your students can write.

  1. Is Holden rebelling against society or growing up?

  2. What is the value of the profanity in the novel?

  3. Do you think Holden is afraid of life?

  4. What is it about society that Holden is afraid of?

  5. Holden is cynical all through the book. Does this help in understanding society?

  6. What does Holden considered to be phony? Why does he feel this way?

  7. Holden has a problem going from childhood into adulthood. Is that a common occurrence?

  8. Is Holden being fair in his assessment of society?

  9. Does Holden seek truth or an explanation of the hypocrisy he sees?

  10. Do teenagers use sarcasm to define reality?

  11. Is Holden honestly a misfit or does he just think he is?

  12. The book appears to be a sad tale, but is there anything positive about it?

  13. Catcher in the Rye was written over 50 years ago. Is it still relevant?

  14. Growing up in the book is a sad affair. Can the process of becoming an adult be cheerful? Discuss.

As you look at these topics you have to keep in mind level of maturity your students have. Catcher in the Rye is a very powerful novel. In many ways it pulls no punches at all. Your students will probably identify rather quickly with some of the thoughts and beliefs Holden Caufield has. At the same time, so your students may firmly disagree. You should keep a neutral stance.

It is a coming of age novel which explores a period of life every young person must go through. There are very deep emotions that may come to the surface. It is important that you encourage your students to express their feelings. There is sarcasm in the novel but it should not be in your voice. Remember that what Holden went through is perhaps what your students are dealing with right now.

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