Catcher in the Rye
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
--ROBERT FROST (1874-1963)
1. What does the poet mean by “Nature’s first green is gold”?
2. Why is it the “hardest hue to hold”?
3. To what does “Eden” refer? How does it relate to “nature’s first green?”
4. Why does “dawn goes down to day” relate to the loss of innocence?
5. When does Holden finally realize that “nothing gold can stay”?
“Nothing Gold” Essay
Consider the ideas in Frost’s poem and relate them to The Catcher in the Rye by answering the
question: Does Holden realize that “nothing gold can stay”?
Write a well-developed, well-written paragraph. .Consider Holden’s attitude toward children,
and phonies— as well as his description of the Museum of Natural History, and “the best
thing in that museum. Use examples and quotations to support your idea.
(15 points)
Topic sentence clear; answers question
(20 points)
Two convincing reasons given for answer
(20 points)
Clear, logical support for each reason
(20 points)
At least one quotation to support each reason; quotations
are relevant & incorporated properly
(20 points)
Paragraph clear, well-written; transitions used effectively
(5 points)
Interesting conclusion; not repetitive
-1 point for each error in tense, formal language, spelling, grammar
(100 points)
When quoting, remember the following:
1. Cite only the page number in a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence.. As
long as all the quotes are from the same source, and the source is understood, the
title and the word “page” are both unnecessary. Punctuation goes after the
Example: Mr. Spencer tells Holden that “Life is a game” (8).
 Notice that the period goes AFTER the parenthesis.
2. Use only relevant quotations—that is, quotations that prove your point.
Example: Stradlater is not what he appears to be. Although he “shaves himself
twice, to look gorgeous,” he used a “crumby old razor” (30).
3. Incorporate quotation into a sentence.
Example: Holden leaves Pencey Prep because, as he says, “It made me too sad and
lonesome” (51).
4. You can also use phrases for support and incorporate them into a sentence.
Example: Phoebe is “quite skinny” with “sort of red hair, a little bit like Allie’s” (67).
5. Always write about literature in present tense.
Example: Holden is a sad, confused young man,.