The Catcher in the Rye questions
- The narration (point-of-view) of a story is crucial because it is the lens through which the story is presented. In Catcher, the story is narrated in the first person by a teenager named Holden Caulfield. Consider how the story begins. What impression does Holden make to the reader and what does that idea state about Holden as a narrator? Is he a reliable? Additionally, Holden frequently throws the word “phony” around; what is “his” definition of phony? Is it congruent to your definition of that word?
- As the novel progresses, other characters help shape and color the story by adding dimension to the theme of the story and to Holden as the main character. Jane Gallagher, Ward Stradlater, and Allie Caulfield are only a few of the characters who give us great insight into Holden’s persona.
- Who is Jane Gallagher and what does she mean to Holden? Why did she keep her kings in the back row? What do you think that says about her? Why does Holden carry that particular memory of Jane?
- Who is Ward Stradlater and what kind of person is he, according to Holden? Why does Holden want Stradlater to ask Jane if she still keeps her kings in the back row? Dig deep into the story and try to determine what that might symbolize. Remember, it is all interpretive.
- Lastly, who is Allie Caulfield (Chapter 5)? What does Holden allow us to know about Allie, at this point?