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Catcher in the Rye helpful Interpretations

Catcher in the Rye helpful Interpretations

Author: Dean Hill

Consider thematic and character issues presented in "Catcher in the Rye"

Some videos to use as a review the importance of character, thematic and symbolic  references presented in Catcher in the Rye.

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Themes and ideas

As you answer those numerous questions about symbols and themes, I thought I would collect some videos you could watch to help answer some of those questions.

The first one from John Green sets the tone and the review of the first half of the novel should help make some of these points clear. Use the prompts to get some notes to help with understanding the text.

The monologue from Will Smith explores other attributes about Holden we have yet to cover in class. Again, use the prompts to take some notes.

The Next 60 Seconds videos are not mandatory but if you are struggling and have the time watch them. Otherwise, save them for a later date.

For fun, and justification of why we read

Beginning with the End, JD in memoriam

This is the Vlog Brothers or John Green's reading of The Catcher in the Rye for Salinger's death on Jan. 27th 2010.
Listen carefully, if you have not read this bit yet, given what you learned from the last tutorial/ lecture of the Burn's poem ( ) and notice the tone and characterization of Holden.
How is this presentation of Holden different than the Holden we see earlier? What distinguishes Holden who narrates the story and Holden who experiences the story?

A review of what you read

Here's a quick review but note the themes and symbols he addresses.
No really, take notes as to what he says about them and his references.

Source: Retrieved Oct 12 2012, from

Will Smith Monologue from 6 Degrees of Seperation

Here is another presentation of Holden.

What works for you?
What do you think of his tangent on the imagination?
Salinger does not directly address imagination in his work, but it does relate to the motif of perception. How does imagination and perception interrelate in "The Catcher in the Rye?

Source: Retrieved Oct 12, 2012 from


Do we need to sympathize with Holden to understand him?


Re-state, does being offended by Holden lessen the appreciation of the themes presented in the novel?


A new term for you: anti-hero. An anti-hero is a character type that does not present a resolution to a moral or thematic issue raised within the plot.Quite often they frustrate the reader by not even providing a resolution to the plot either. Do not confuse anti-hero with un-heroic, it is not the opposition of heroic values. Anti-heroes draw the reader into moral or ethical problems presented in the narrative and leave the conflict unresolved to force the reader to  make their own evaluation regarding the topic.

Do you feel Holden is an anti-hero? What is the moral or ethical dilemma that the reader is being drawn towards? Lastly, do you think this issue is still relative to modern readers?

Lastly, create a t-chart and compare Holden to Peter Pan. What is the key difference between the two characters?



60 Seconds presentations to help you with the worksheets provided earlier

If the hunting hat was giving you trouble this should help

60 Seconds presentations to help you with the worksheets provided earlier

If the ducks in the pond didn't make any sense

60 Seconds presentations to help you with the worksheets provided earlier

Growing up

Source: Retrieved Oct 12, 2012 from

60 Seconds presentations to help you with the worksheets provided earlier


Source: Retrieved Oct 8, 2012, from

60 Seconds presentations to help you with the worksheets provided earlier

* I particularly like this one.