The Catcher in the Rye: discussion questions

Is Holden Caulfield’s voice dated? How valid is his perspective in 2009 compared with 1951, when it was published?

In your opinion, does The Catcher in the Rye deserve its classic status? Should it continue to be required reading in many high schools? Why or why not? And is there a book that you think speaks more to the teenage experience than Catcher in the Rye?

In a 1974 New York Times interview,  J.D. Salinger, whose last book was published in 1965, is quoted as saying, “There is a marvelous peace in not publishing. It’s peaceful. Still. Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure.” As a reader, how do you feel hearing this?

Which character is most sympathetic?

Comment on the fact that J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye is a frequently challenged book and that Mr. Salinger himself launched a legal battle to prevent publication of “60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye” by J.D. California and described as a sequel to the book.


One response to “The Catcher in the Rye: discussion questions

  1. Catcher In The Rye is not a great novel. But it is a good book that resonates even still with young people. Personally I would rather that young people were reading Mark Twain. Huck Finn is a great book but can no longer be read in high schools. Too bad. But that’s another issue.

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