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The Catcher in the Rye Essay Topics

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Choose one of the prompts below and write a five paragraph essay. Do not consult outside sources for this essay. Stay off the internet. Remember the plagiarism policy. Requirements
Five Typed Paragraphs
MLA Format
Three Quotes

1. Many novels and plays focus on individuals involved in a struggle to find themselves or to seek a purpose in life. Sometimes the effort pays off; sometimes it doesn’t. Focusing on Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, write an essay in which you explain Holden’s search or struggle throughout the novel, assess to what extent it succeeds, and analyze how it contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole. 2. Salinger weaves a variety of symbols into The Catcher in the Rye, including (but not limited to) the red hunting hat, the ducks in Central Park, and Allie’s mitt. Select and analyze one symbol that Salinger uses in the book. Explain how Salinger develops this object as a symbol throughout the story. Discuss the symbol’s meaning and significance and explore its contributions to the overall message of the novel. 3. Critic David D. Galloway said, “Wherever Holden turns, his craving for truth seems to be frustrated by the phoniness of the world.” Analyze Holden’s use of the word “phony”. What does the word mean in the context of the book, and does Holden offer any alternative to phoniness? Is Holden himself guilty of being a phony? How does Salinger want readers to judge ideas about phoniness? 4. Consider Holden’s ideas about childhood and adulthood. Are childhood and adulthood are as separate as Holden thinks they are? If so, which category would he fit in? 5. The Catcher in The Rye is written with cyclical plot where we do not fully understand Holden’s situation until we reach the end and reevaluate the beginning. In a well-written essay, discuss how Holden reveals himself. Be sure to explain the clues he gives as the story unfolds.

Writing about Literature
1.Don’t tell your reader what you’re going to tell him or her–just tell em! In other words, do not say: “In my essay, I am going to tell you about…”

2.Write formal papers in third person. Use he, she, it, they, one–but not I, we, or you.

3.Write literary papers in the present tense. Thus, Holden leaves Pencey, not Holden left Pencey.

4.Make pertinent references to the work itself. Be specific. Saying that Holden disappoints his teammates is too vague. Saying that Holden is ostracized by the fencing team because he lost all the foils and equipment on the subway is specific.

5.Quote appropriately by integrating phrases within your own sentences. Include the page number in parentheses as shown. The best way to avoid a QUOTE LUMP is to quote phrases. The following examples illustrate the differences.

Sentence exactly as it appears in the novel: “What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of a good-by, I mean I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them”(4).

Sentence with a QUOTE LUMP: Holden says, “I was trying to feel some kind of a good-by” (4).

Sentence explaining quote’s importance but LUMPY with unneeded words: Even though he has been expelled from Pencey, Holden can’t leave immediately because he says, “I was trying to feel some kind of a good-by” (4).

Sentence integrating & explaining quote with no unneeded words: Expelled from Pencey, Holden can’t leave immediately because he is “trying to feel some kind of a good-by” (4).

6.Limit your quotes to one or two sentences.

7.Use transitional words to relate ideas and events to each other and to introduce some of your examples. For instance, to illustrate, consequently, in addition, on the other hand and other such “glue words” help your paper “fit together.”

8.Italicize or underline the title The Catcher in the Rye.

9.Pay very careful attention to the spelling of any words in quoted passages, the names of characters and places, and common homonyms. To misspell Holdin’ Coalfield or to confuse its and it’s are careless error’s which show a lack of respect for your own work.

10. The majority of your essay should be your ideas, not summary.

11. Create an appropriate and interesting title for your papers. You cannot call your paper “The Catcher in the Rye.” Salinger has already used that one, so you must do more. Perhaps:

Style in The Catcher in the RyeHolden Caulfield’s Quest
Of Central Park and MuseumsHolden’s Hieroglyphic

In MLA format, the whole paper is double spaced, including the heading. The title is centered below the heading. You do not add italics, underlining, or bold fonts to your words in a title. Notice that there are no extra spaces before or after the title. Your thesis should be at the end of the first paragraph.

When you’re ready to start the second paragraph, begin with an indent right below the first paragraph. Notice that there are no extra spaces. Your paper should be written in Times New Roman size 12. Use the standard margin settings that come up automatically.

OR whatever that indicates the direction your paper will follow.

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