Creating a claim and a counterclaim for The Catcher in the Rye



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Ms. Crandell Name_________________

English 9 Period _____

Spring Semester Date___________

Creating a claim and a counterclaim for The Catcher in the Rye

Directions:

Read over what some people have thought of The Catcher in the Rye over the years.

Do you find yourself agreeing with the first column or the second?


Pros Cons

1.   “Holden Caulfield struck me as an urban, a transplanted Huck Finn ... a brilliant tour de force that has sufficient power and cleverness to make the reader chuckle and - rare indeed - even laugh aloud.” -- Harvey Breit, 1951
2.   “Though confused and unsure of himself, like most 16-year-olds, [Holden] is observant and perceptive and willed with a certain wisdom. His minor delinquencies seem minor indeed when contrasted with the adult delinquencies with which he is confronted.”  -- New York Times, 1951

 

3. “Mr. Salinger, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker and elsewhere, tells a story well, in this case under the special difficulties of casting it in the form of Holden's first-person narrative. This was a perilous undertaking, but one that has been successfully achieved. Mr. Salinger's rendering of teen-age speech is wonderful: the unconscious humor, the repetitions, the slang and profanity, the emphasis, all are just right. Holden's mercurial changes of mood, his stubborn refusal to admit his own sensitive-ness and emotions, his cheerful disregard of what is sometimes known as reality are typically and heart breakingly adolescent.” -- New York Times, 1951



4. “And of course the Catcher's colloquial balancing act is not just something boldly headlined on page one: It is wonderfully sustained from first to last. And so too, it seemed to me, was everything else in the book: its humor, its pathos, and, above all, its wisdom, the certainty of its world view.” -- Ian Hamilton, 1988

1. “The book as a whole is predictable and boring.” -- Ernest Jones, 1951

2. “The reader cannot, finally, identify himself with Holden Caulfield, for Holden is hilariously, ridiculously sick, and the reader lives in a world where adulthood is health.” -- John W. Aldridge, 1956

3. “Jerome David Salinger is an extremely skillful writer, and Holden's dead-pan narrative is quick-moving, absurd, and wholly repellent in its mingled vulgarity, naïveté, and sly perversion.”  -- Christian Science Monitor, 1951
4. “[J.D. Salinger flatters] the very ignorance and moral shallowness of his young readers." -- George Steiner


quotes from http://www.wahlbrinck.de/catcherintherye/int.htm#1 wall



http://www.newrepublic.com/article/why-do-people-love-catcher-the-rye

http://www.nytimes.com/learning/issues_in_depth/catcher.html



If you agree with the first column,

•Draw a star next to the claim from the pros list that you most strongly agree with.

•Craft your own thesis statement that echoes the starred claim.

•Then, craft a body paragraph that starts with the words, “Some may say,” and then include one statement from the cons list. Include the name of the writer in parentheses after the quote. You will have just created a counterclaim.

•Rebut the counterclaim--show how it isn’t true. Include two short quotes from The Catcher in the Rye to back up your claim, and comment on each passage from the book.
If you agree with the second column,

•Draw a star next to the claim from the con list that you most strongly agree with.

•Craft your own thesis statement that echoes the starred claim.

•Then, craft a body paragraph that starts with the words, “Some may say,” and then include one statement from the pros list. Include the name of the writer in parentheses after the quote. You will have just created a counterclaim.

•Rebut the counterclaim--show how it isn’t true. Include two short quotes from The Catcher in the Rye to back up your claim, and comment on each passage from the book.
Example:

J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye features a teenaged Holden Caulfield who echoes Twain’s Huck Finn in his resourcefulness and sense of humor.



Some may say that the book is “predictable and boring” (Jones), but Holden’s actions throughout the novel keep the reader guessing where he will end up. Just as the reader is surprised by Huck’s decision to live on his own on the island, Holden surprises us when he suddenly decides to “get the hell out of Pencey” (51) and head out on his own to New York City. This shows a side of Holden we haven’t yet seen and he demonstrates that he is confident in his abilities to make his own way for a short time. Once in the city, he does more than morosely wander; he tells us he “really felt like dancing” (70) and proceeds to jitterbug with a random girl in the Lavender Room lounge. With his running commentary on the people in the lounge, Holden shows his ability to keep a sense of humor even in a place that tends to depress him.
A reminder: use your best handwriting, please!


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