By David Peck
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Additional info for Novels of Initiation: A Guidebook for Teaching Literature to Adolescents
B. or Phoebe. 10. You are Holden's psychiatrist: write a final report releasing him from the hospital and giving a prognosis for his future. 11. How would you characterize the adults in the novel? Why do they keep telling Holden about rules? ) 12. What is the significance of the novel's title? How does it describe Holden's relations with children throughout the novel? Bridging to Other Novels Popular Adult and Classic American Novels Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884); see Chapter 2.
Any discussion of the novel can lead to its themes simply by pursuing the implications of Huck's narrative and by thinking through the consequences of his actions. Here are questions keyed to such a thematic analysis of the Grangerford/Shepherdson feud in Chapters 17 and 18: 1. What kind of story does Huck make up about himself when he stumbles upon the Grangerford house? ) < previous page page_26 next page > < previous page page_27 next page > Page 27 2. Why does Huck call himself "George Jackson," and what does that name remind us of?
Like Huck Finn's journey down the Mississippi, Holden's odyssey is picaresque in structure: the hero wanders through a series of adventures without any apparent narrative direction. ) And like its nineteenth-century predecessor, The Catcher in the Rye is a first-person narration in which the reader is directly addressed. ) Yet, as in Huckleberry Finn, readers must be careful: first-person narratives tend to fool us, for our tendency is to nod in agreement at what the narrator is telling us. What soon becomes clear in Catcher, however, as in its parent novel, is that Holden, like Huck, lies and is not always correct in his interpretation of events or appraisal of people.