Understanding The Catcher in the Rye: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents

Overview

This rich source of social, cultural, and historical documents and commentary will illuminate the reading of The Catcher in the Rye, a novel that has become an important rite of passage for many young adults. In addition to a literary analysis, this casebook acquaints students with the larger world in which Holden Caulfield moves: Hollywood films, Broadway plays, and jazz musicians. It also presents a detailed account of the censorship challenges to the novel, and provides primary documents on child development ...

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Overview

This rich source of social, cultural, and historical documents and commentary will illuminate the reading of The Catcher in the Rye, a novel that has become an important rite of passage for many young adults. In addition to a literary analysis, this casebook acquaints students with the larger world in which Holden Caulfield moves: Hollywood films, Broadway plays, and jazz musicians. It also presents a detailed account of the censorship challenges to the novel, and provides primary documents on child development and psychology that illuminate Holden's contradictory behavior.

Each chapter contains a wide variety of primary source material, from reviews of the novel at the time of its publication and excerpts from censorship arguments to materials on the culture of the 1950s, to interviews with a number of prep school students of the 1950s and selections from a 1950 prep school catalog. Primary documents are paired with explanatory introductions. Each chapter concludes with topic ideas for written and oral discussion based on the materials presented in the chapter. This casebook is ideal for student research and for interdisciplinary teaching of the novel.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-The premise of this book (and the series) is that literature is best studied in its historical context. The approach here is interdisciplinary and offers more than just a literary criticism. The authors include excerpts from interviews, newspaper articles, Supreme Court cases, sociological studies, etc. In addition to the insight provided, these records lend a certain authenticity to the discussions. Each of the six chapters takes on a different issue about the novel. "Literary Analysis" gives an overview of its themes, characters, and literary techniques. "Censorship of The Catcher in the Rye" tackles the many controversies since the book's publication in 1951. "America's Postwar Culture" discusses conformity and materialism that mark the time period and how they relate to the book's protagonist. "Holden Caulfield on the Analyst's Couch" discusses adolescence, both then and now. Each chapter concludes with study questions, topics for written or oral exploration, and suggested readings. The comparisons to other authors and works are useful and interesting. Students will find this book helpful in understanding the novel, and teachers will be able to use the questions and topics as springboards to further discussion and research.-Linda Wadleigh, Oconee County Middle School, Watkinsville, GA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Booknews
Provides a rich source of social, cultural, and historical documents and commentary illuminating . In addition to a literary analysis, the authors, professors at Franklin and Marshall College and at McCaskey High School, acquaint students with the larger world in which Holden Caulfield moves: Hollywood films, Broadway plays, and jazz. They present a detailed account of the censorship challenges to the novel and provide primary documents on child development and psychology. Interviews with prep school students of the 1950s and materials on the prep school world of that time place the novel in its cultural and social context. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

SANFORD PINSKER is Shadek Professor of Humanities at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

ANN PINSKER teaches in the Social Studies Department of J. P. McCaskey High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Literary Analysis

Censorship of The Catcher in the Rye

America's Post-War Culture

Preparatory Schools

Holden Caulfield at the Movies

Holden Caulfield on the Analyst's Couch

Index

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