Catcher in the Rye Essay Ideas

Catcher in the Rye Essay Ideas

Writing a Catcher in the Rye Essay is such a common assignment that it is almost a rite of passage. In fact, if you are a college student, chances are good that you wrote an essay on this coming of age novel while you were in high school. Now, here you are faced with the same assignment. Only this time, things are different. The expectations are higher. Your instructors expect your writing skills to be more highly developed.  They also expect you to have more insight than your teachers in high school expected. That’s okay. You can do this. Just think of main character, Holden Caulfield as a familiar friend who you are writing about once again. Keep reading and we will provide some great ideas to get you started on your essay.

Essay Questions

  • How did Holden Caulfield’s relationships with his teachers impact his development and growth as he became a man?
  • One criticism that JD Salinger has faced is that his characters seem self-absorbed, judgmental, and emotionally stunted. Do you agree with this criticism? Defend your position in an argumentative essay.
  • How well does the character Holden hold up when compared with today’s youth? Is he a realistic character? Do young me today struggle with the thoughts and feelings that plagued Holden?
  • Would this novel have been a successful young adult novel if it was written today?
  • This book frequently makes banned books lists. Is there any content in The Catcher in the Rye that high school or college students would be scandalized by?
  • Do you wonder if JD Salinger and Holden Caulfield are the same person? Write an essay comparing the life of the author with the life of the character.
  • Holden judges people harshly that he believes are phonies. Is he too harsh in his judgments?
  • How does the theme of death impact the story?
  • This was, for its time, a book that shocked people with the amount of profanity that it contained. Do you believe the use of profanity was over the top, or that it was needed to paint a clear picture of the characters?
  • Was the ending of The Catcher in the Rye Satisfactory, or did Salinger leave too many loose ends?
  • Which character in the novel do you think had the biggest influence over Holden?

Once you have made your selection from this list of essay topics, you are ready to start writing. It is best to start with notes, and then write an outline in order to get your main points together. As you work through your outline, begin thinking about your formal thesis statement. It’s okay if you don’t have a thesis statement written out in the beginning, but you will need one before you can begin working on the rough draft. Remember that attention to detail is extremely important when writing essays at this level. Don’t worry too much though. If you have trouble with this essay or any other essay, our writers are always available to provide assistance with anything from writing to proofreading.