Catcher in the Rye Essay Outline Assignment Task
ENG 3U1 – The Catcher in the Rye Essay Outline Assignment Task: Pick one of the essay prompts below. Your answer to the prompt will be the thesis of your essay. Thoughtfully and carefully craft an essay outline to develop and defend your thesis. Be concise and to the point, this is only an outline! You may consult your agenda, previous notes and our class for essay writing tips. Be sure to use text-based evidence to support your thesis. Essay Prompts Throughout the novel, Holden is a tormented adolescent.
He feels alienated and isolated at Pencey Prep, he is belittled and dismissed by women he wants to impress, he is beaten up twice, he dreams of escape from the world he lives in and he even considers suicide. Yet, despite these hardships, the novel maintains a humourous tone. Why did Salinger choose humour as the tone for his novel? How does humour contribute to the novel’s larger meaning and effect? Consider how the novel’s meaning would be different if Salinger did not use so much humour. Discuss the meaning or impact of the title of the book as a central, controlling theme in the novel.
How does Holden’s wish to be “the catcher in the rye” help readers understand both his character and the nature of his deep troubles and concerns about life? Be sure to address the significance of Holden’s misreading of the Robert Burns’ poem. Critic Maxwell Geismar writes, “The Catcher in the Rye protests, to be sure, against both the academic and social conformity of its period. But what does it argue for? ” Write an essay to explain what the book argues for. What might Salinger have been trying to communicate to his readers through his novel, and how does he do so?
Holden, like each of us, faces living in a world he did not create. While he may reject much of the dominant culture, he is also clearly affected by it. What faults of the larger society does Holden exhibit? How does Salinger reveal these faults to the reader? DUE: December 6th-9th Template Exemplar Thesis:_In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger is able to use humour as a way of connecting with his readers as well as a device to highlight the obvious flaws in nature. If humour was not to be found, the meaning of the novel would have a overall dark atmosphere. Supporting Argument 1 Why Humour?
He uses humour because the story is told in the perspective of a teenager. Teenagers in general and Holden as a reference is very emotional throughout the book. Salinger uses humour to make the novel easier to read for the readers Proof: Keeps the reader entertained through the spontaneous acts the Holden commits Analysis: Many of the things Holden does is just spontaneous, he acts on impulse. These sorts of things bring humour into the overall message of the novel. Events such as calling friends like Luce and Sally are acting on impulse. Proof: Teenagers hide their emotions through jokes
Analysis: Holden numerous times uses humour as a way of getting out of tough times. One example is when Pheobe is mad at him and he pinches her rear-end. A second example happens when he calls Sally a pain in the ass, he begins to laugh. They use these jokes to hide their emotions, as well as using drugs and alcohol to numb the emotion. Proof: The constant use of Sarcasm shows how Holden doesn’t have a full grasp of what adulthood really is. Analysis: Holden puts on the act of how everything seems fine when in reality Holden is always covering the pain he is feeling through his immature ways and sarcasm.
Also, teenagers try to laugh things off. Like Holden, he doesn’t want people to judge him because of his feelings. Sarcastic remarks such as the one he made about the men carrying the christmas tree bring humour into the novel to lighten the mood. Supporting Argument 2 Humour is used as a crutch for such a depressing book. It allows the reader to become more entertained rather then reading about depressing things. Humouris just used to show how dumb people can really be in the world. Proof: Used to display that Holden is in trouble and is in need of help
Analysis: Holden lies to hide from his life it seems as though he makes another life that is bigger and better than the one that he is living in now. He escapes his life by living another. All of these are showing how he is not healthy at all and needs help. Holden tries not to think about these issues in his life, so he choses to make jokes about them Proof: The humour was used to point out all the flaws in nature. Analysis: The one thing that Holden hated most was phonies. He constantly ranted about how he hated these so called people.
Salinger used Holden as a way of speaking his mind. about his subject without going out publicly about it himself. He was able to speak his mind behind the disguise of a character. In Chapter 22 Holden says that adults are inevitably phonies and the worst part is that they can’t see their own phoniness. Proof: The larger meaning of the story is that childhood can never remain, meaning you can’t stay a child forever. Analysis: Holden’s humour shows the childish-like qualities that he possess within him. He switches moods very often.
When with the women or out on the town, he has a very grown up personality then he would have a child-like quality while doing something else. Overall, although Holden acts older then his age, but wants to preserve his youth, he will never get his way, it’s just impossible. Supporting Argument 3 How would the story be different if humour wasn’t used? Humour is an important aspect in this type of novel which is very heavy on depressing topics. This lighter tone gives the reader a better chance at understanding the book. Without this, many people would become lost in the dark and depressing topics of the novel.
Proof: The book wouldn’t be as enjoyable as it is to numerous students Analysis: The constant depressed mood and Holden’s pessimistic thoughts would have many readers unhappy with the novel. Since the story is told from a teenage perspective, a teenagers first thought is not to sit around and listen to someone depressing life story, they want to be able to live their life and do new things. Proof: The humour allows the readers to relate to the book. Analysis: Many things such as hiding emotions, and teenagers all confused about life are all things that teenagers are able to relate too.
It adds interest and shows that even though Holden can be dry and gloomy, he is still a human and has a full range of emotions. The relationship with the readers and Holden would not exist. Proof: The effect of the humour adds contrast to the book. Analysis: The humour sets a delicate balance between the dark atmosphere of the book and the stupidity of Holden, and Salinger walks that line very well. Conclusion: In conclusion, Humour is a vital aspect in this novel. It allows people such as Holden to be themselves and be comfortable around other people.
Even outside the book, extended to the readers, it is easier to understand the novel and it is more easily relatable. Without his humour, the book would not be the same. Thesis Restated: In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger is able to use humour as a way of connecting with his readers as well as a device to highlight the obvious flaws in nature. If humour was not to be found, the meaning of the novel would have a overall dark atmosphere. 1. Humour is used to establish a connection with readers as a way of communicating a point . Salinger is able to use Holden a disguise to let the world hear his mind as he speaks about the ‘phoniness’ 3. The humour found in the novel lightens the tone of overall depressing one found throughout the novel. Connection of topic to broader context: All humans are emotional and whether they like it or not they all show it. Many people hide these emotions so they won’t be judged or neglected. Humour is important at this part since humour can be used as a cover up to hide these emotions. Humour also allows for a lighter atmosphere