21-minute Film -- This is a video I
put together. It mixes a collection of film clips and music that mention
Catcher in the Rye.
Quiz -- Entire Book
Notes on Novel:
Tracking Words: I like to look at an author's word choice
and start to make some meaning from the frequency of certain words. This
is my own personal count, and I could be wrong by one or two on each word,
but you get the general idea.
Fiend = 5 times (if we consider Holden a Christ figure, he probably
needs to confront the devil at least once).
Madman = 16 times
Crazy = 77 times
Depress = 50 times
Alone = 18 times
Lonesome = 8 times
Sad = 20 times
Sorry = 35 times
Suicide = 6 times
Goddam [sic] = 245
God = 321 (this includes goddamn) -- (quite a lot of mention of
God considering that Holden considers himself mostly atheist).
Jesus = 21 times (pay special attention to when Ackley says Jesus
when he sees Holden's head wound [bloody nose]. Why didn't Ackley use
another interjection? Can more be read into this Jesus than just an
Christ = 40 times (3 of these are Jesus Christ; 33 of these are Christmas)
Chrissake [sic] = 32 times
Holy = 3 times
Hell = 281 times
Fall = 17 times
Death = 7 times
Dead = 27 times
Kill = 64 times
Game = 40 times
War = 48 times
Phony = 35 Times
Father = 36 times (remember that Holden's dad doesn't ever make a
personal appearance in the novel, yet the word father is printed
36 times. This might be a good place to do some thinking).
Here is the checklist that Thomas C. Foster offers
with some comments that we came up with in class:
crucified, wound in hands, feet, side, and head
Holden has a wounded hand. "My hand still hurts me once
in a while."
He gets punched in the stomach.
His head is bleeding after Stradlater fights with him. Holden
walks into Ackley's room with blood dripping on his face. There
is a light shining behind his head. We might picture a halo.
Holden turns on the light, and the first word Ackley says is
we can argue that Holden is agony
we can argue this also. Some students in class pointed to
the different items that Holden offers to others. Some of us
talked about his actions with Stradlater and Maurice.
good with children
He wants to catch / save them from falling. Plus, he helps
children in many different places in the novel. Think about
his experience at the museum. Think about the end of the novel
and the writing on the wall.
good with loaves, fishes, water, wine
some students pointed to his drinking. Some tried to tie the
duck and fish conversation. One insightful student questioned
the Rye in the title and the song.
thirty-three years of age when last seen
This is a stretch, but someone pointed to Holden being about
16 1/2. It is a nice number, but probably wouldn't be good support
for a paper.
employed as carpenter
No one was able to get this one to work.
known to use humble modes of transportation, feet or donkeys peferred
Holden certainly is moving about on foot.
believed to have walked on water
A couple students pointed to the passage of Holden ice skating
often portrayed with arms outstretched
No one was able to find a passage. Someone suggested that
his arms might be outstretched when Stradlater is kneeling on
him, but J.D. Salinger never uses any words or images to make
known to have spent time alone in the wilderness
students said that New York works as a metaphorical wilderness
believed to have had a confrontation with the devil, possibly
Students point to the passages where the word fiend is used.
last seen in the company of thieves
Yes. The people at the hotel.
creator of many aphorisms and parables
No one in class came up with anything for this one.
buried, but arose on the third day
Holden's journey is three days long. Some students were dealing
buried as a metaphor. Holden is buried with depression and angst.
On the third day, thanks to Phoebe, he comes out of it.
no, unless we consider Phoebe to be one in some way
Holden says at the very end, "I sort of miss everybody
I told about. Even old Stradlater and Ackley, for instance.
I think I even miss that goddam Maurice." It seems as if
he has forgiven these people.
came to redeem an unworthy world
He is not succesful, but Holden certain wishes he could redeem
the world that he perceives as being unworthy.