The Catcher in the Rye's

• Why is acceptance important to human
• Why do people tend to be depressed when
they feel isolated and alone?
• Have you ever felt alone? Or like you don’t
belong in society? Why?
• If not, what makes you feel 100% accepted all
of the time and why?
J.D. Salinger (1919-2010)
• American writer
• Raised in Manhattan (NYC)
• Moved to Vienna, Austria and
left just before it was annexed by Nazi Germany
• Drafted in World War II, fought in the D-day
invasion and in the Battle of the Bulge
• Was Jewish until converting to Buddhism in
the 1940’s, after that his religious beliefs
continued to evolve and change
• After The Catcher in the Rye’s success, he
became increasingly anti-social, eventually
withdrawing from public life
The Catcher in the Rye
• Published in 1951
• Has sold over 65,000,000 copies
• The protagonist (Holden Caulfield) was
first featured in a short story by Salinger “Slight
Rebellion off Madison”
• Often regarded as one of the best novels of the
20th century
• Salinger and his agents have never allowed the
story to be adapted to film, despite the efforts of
many famous directors and actors including:
Jerry Lewis, Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson,
Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, John Cusack,
Harvey Weinstein, and Steven Spielberg
The Controversy
• Simultaneously one of the most taught and most
censored, banned books in America.
• It is banned for: profanity, sexuality, blasphemy,
undermining family values, a protagonist who is a
poor role model, encouragement of rebellion,
drinking, smoking, lying, and promiscuity.
• It was a favorite book of John Hinckley Jr., who
shot President Ronald Reagan.
• Robert Bardo, who killed actress Rebecca
Schaeffer, and Mark David Chapman, who killed
Beatles’ singer John Lennon, both had a copy of
the novel on them when they committed the
The Plot
• Most of the novel takes
place over two days in
December 1949
• The protagonist and
narrator, Holden Caulfield,
is expelled from school.
• Following his expulsion, he
spends the next two days in
New York City having
various adventures and
The Characters
• Holden Caulfield – protagonist and narrator,
who is 17 telling a store from when he was 16,
very cynical and critical of the world around
him. Sees most people as “phony”
• Ackley – insecure student at Pency, Holden’s
• Stradlater – Holden’s roommate at Pency.
Handsome and popular.
• Jane Gallagher – girl Holden idealizes and has a
crush on
• D.B. Caulfield – Holden’s brother who moved
to Hollywood to be a screenwriter
• Allie Caulfield – Holden’s younger brother who
died of leukemia 3 years before the events in
the novel
• Phoebe Caulfield – Holden’s very talented and
intelligent 10-year-old sister that Holden loves
very much. She understands Holden more
than anyone.
• Sally Hayes – girl Holden dates occassionally.
Attractive, but Holden thinks she is
The Slang
Crumby – bad
Swell – good
Shot the bull – made small-talk
“That killed me” – that was hilarious
Necking – making out
Flit – homosexual
Pansy – coward
Yellow – cowardly
Snotty – snobby
Phony – fake, superficial, hypocritical