Our discussion of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye spawned the following:
- The call and answer (or lack of answer) in Holden’s experiences.
- Holden’s preoccupation with protecting innocence.
- Authenticity versus phoniness.
- The importance of human relationships.
- The commodification of elements of universal human experience.
- As children/teenagers form identities, which relationships are most important in their lives?
- What can we learn from Holden about truly listening to children?
- How can we find existential truth in fiction?
- How can we as human beings ourselves, acknowledge the humanity of our students and their own existential struggles?
- What narrow expectations and frameworks do we take for granted in public education? (Schedules, measurements for achievement, etc.)
- How is Holden’s struggle a result of mainstream American values?
Food for thought: