Procedures:                                                                                                                Print Questions: .docx / .doc


1) Read the novel excerpts and the related texts together in groups or as a class

2) Clarify meaning in groups or as a class. Student/Teacher reads. Student summarizes

3) In pairs or in groups, discuss the textual content and quotations

4) In pairs or in groups, discuss the conversation questions (include your own questions)

5) As a class, take turns using the conversation questions to expand your ideas

Novels 111 ~ The Catcher in the Rye ~ J.D. Salinger ~

~ TLW ~ Readers Club ~ Novels for Discussion ~

Courtesy of  Sparknotes

¡°Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules.¡±
¡°Yes, sir. I know it is. I know it.¡±
Game, my ass. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hot-shots are, then it¡¯s a game, all right—I¡¯ll admit that. But if you get on the other side, where there aren¡¯t any hot-shots, then what¡¯s a game about it? Nothing. No game.

-J.D. Salinger , The Catcher in the Rye

[Ackley] took another look at my hat . . . ¡°Up home we wear a hat like that to shoot deer in, for Chrissake,¡± he said. ¡°That¡¯s a deer shooting hat.¡± 
¡°Like hell it is.¡± I took it off and looked at it. I sort of closed one eye, like I was taking aim at it. ¡°This is a people shooting hat,¡± I said. ¡°I shoot people in this hat.¡±

-J.D. Salinger , The Catcher in the Rye


The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody¡¯d move. . . . Nobody¡¯d be different. The only thing that would be different would be you.

-J.D. Salinger , The Catcher in the Rye

. . . I¡¯m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff—I mean if they¡¯re running and they don¡¯t look where they¡¯re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That¡¯s all I¡¯d do all day. I¡¯d just be the catcher in the rye and all.

-J.D. Salinger , The Catcher in the Rye


I have a feeling that you¡¯re riding for some kind of terrible, terrible fall. . . . The whole arrangement¡¯s designed for men who, at some time or other in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn¡¯t supply them with. . . . So they gave up looking.

-J.D. Salinger , The Catcher in the Rye



Click here for Author¡¯s Biography, Plot Overview, and Explanation of Quotes courtesy of Sparknotes


~ General Conversation Questions ~


Group A


1) Who is the main character in the novel? Describe him. Have you known anyone like him?

2) What is ¡°alienation¡±? The term is often associated with youth. How do young people become alienated?

3) One trait the main character has is a lack of social skills. Is this a problem with youth in your community?

4) Another theme relates to the issue of ¡°coming of age¡±. What does this mean to you?

5) A lack of strong family bonds seems to be a driving force in the protagonist¡¯s behavior. Describe.


Group B


1) The main character lost a younger brother. Why or How was his death relevant to the story?

2) Do you know anyone who has suffered such a tragedy? How did they cope? 

3) It seems that the main character is trying to find a connection with everyone. Why are the efforts futile?

4) The author of the book was rarely interviewed. He hid from the public. Why do you think so?

5) Talk about the notion of privacy. How ¡°private¡± do you want to be in the internet age?


Challenge: Make your own follow-up questions and discuss them.




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