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Socratic Seminar on Catcher in the Rye - Essay Example

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Summary
The Catcher in the Rye is an inspiring novel that was composed in 1951 by a renowned writer and narrator, J. D. Salinger. Initially, the novel was an informative novel that was directed towards addressing adult problems. …
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Socratic Seminar on Catcher in the Rye

Download file to see previous pages... However, based on the social changes in modern society, the novel turned out to be popular among adolescent and young people in the society. To confirm its popularity in modern inclusive and challenging society, the work has been translated into almost all major languages in the world. Every year, more than 250,000 copies are sold. So far, more than 65,000,000 copies have been distributed and sold in almost all parts of the world. Despite becoming one of the most popular characters in modern society, Holden Caufield has become an icon for young people especially in developed countries such as United Kingdom and United States of America.
The Root Cause of Holden’s Problems
Holden’s problem started one Saturday afternoon when he was late to attend a football match with a rival school, Saxon Hall. In addition to being late for the game, Holden lost most of the fencing team’s equipment in New York City on a subway, forcing the game to be cancelled for lack of the required equipment. He was criticised by his fellow teammates for being ineffective and an unreliable manager of the fencing team. As a result of being late for the game and emerging as an incompetent leader, Holden lost his valuable leadership position. The incompetence of Holden is also demonstrated when he stated that “somebody had thrown his cookies” which meant that someone has pocked (Salinger 39).
The embattled leader was also expelled from school for engaging in unacceptable behavior both within the school compound and outside the school compound. Holden decided to visit the home of his history teacher, Mr. Spencer to inquire about his performance and to convince him to award him better marks for his history paper. However, to Holden’s surprise, the old man read his history paper aloud. This act humiliated Holden to an extent that he was forced to leave and head towards New York City. In attempt to advise him on the importance of having a descent and honorable life, Spencer told Holden “life is a game” (Salinger 41) where everyone should learn to understand and effectively apply the rules of the game without searching for any favor or support for unacceptable activities and behaviors. Although he was disappointed by Spencer’s reaction, Holden took his word seriously and went on with his way. The character’s problems emerged out of his perception towards life and his inability to withstand testing and challenging situations in life. In his life, Holden assumed that life is a simple path where everyone can be manipulated for personal interests and gain. For instance, his plan to visit his history teacher was aimed at trying to convince him to award him better grades without considering his mistakes. He also intended to convince him to intervene in ensuring that his suspension was revoked. However, to his surprise, Mr. Spencer humiliated him. Later in the story, the readers are informed that out of frustration in life, Holden attempted several times to commit suicide due to life’s challenges. For instance the character was spotted saying that “any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody” (Salinger 91). Holden the narrator The narrator is Holden. He is telling his story to individuals who lack the ability of withstanding life’s complications and people who do not abide by the rule of law. The narrator explores some of the challenges that he has been undergoing in his own youthful life. In the novel, it is clear that the narrator has a very challenging life both at school and in his home. There was continuous conflict between the narrator and his family. The intensive disagreement between ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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