Understanding The Catcher in the Rye
A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical DocumentsBook - 1999
This rich source of social, cultural, and historical documents and commentary will illuminate the reading of The Catcher in the Rye , a novel that has become an important rite of passage for many young adults. In addition to a literary analysis, this casebook acquaints students with the larger world in which Holden Caulfield moves: Hollywood films, Broadway plays, and jazz musicians. It also presents a detailed account of the censorship challenges to the novel, and provides primary documents on child development and psychology that illuminate Holden's contradictory behavior.
Each chapter contains a wide variety of primary source material, from reviews of the novel at the time of its publication and excerpts from censorship arguments to materials on the culture of the 1950s, to interviews with a number of prep school students of the 1950s and selections from a 1950 prep school catalog. Primary documents are paired with explanatory introductions. Each chapter concludes with topic ideas for written and oral discussion based on the materials presented in the chapter. This casebook is ideal for student research and for interdisciplinary teaching of the novel.