Directions: Choose one of the following options for your final project on The Catcher in the Rye. Projects will be graded on effort, creativity, how well you demonstrate your understanding of the novel



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The Catcher in the Rye Final Assignment

Directions: Choose one of the following options for your final project on The Catcher in the Rye. Projects will be graded on effort, creativity, how well you demonstrate your understanding of the novel, and how well you complete all facets of whichever option you choose. There are many options available. Variations on any of these options must be pre-approved.
Due Date: Tuesday/Wednesday, October 28 & 29

Academic Essay: Choose 1 of the following essays to complete – have a clear thesis statement

1. Holden and Depression: Research depression in teenagers, including information about its symptoms and treatment.  After doing so, look at Holden.  Which symptoms does he exhibit? Use evidence from the story to create a “diagnosis” of Holden.

2. Salinger weaves a variety of symbols into The Catcher in the Rye, including (but not limited to) the red hunting hat, the ducks in Central Park, and Allie’s mitt.  Select and analyze one symbol that Salinger uses in the book.  Explain how Salinger develops this object as a symbol throughout the story.  Discuss the symbol’s meaning and significance and explore its contributions to the overall message of the novel.

3. Salinger introduces a number of themes in The Catcher in the Rye, including (but not limited to) coming of age, innocence, alienation, and phoniness.  Select and analyze one theme in the book.  Explain how Salinger develops this theme throughout the story.  Discuss the themes significance and explore its contributions to the novel.

4. Analyze Holden’s use of the word “phony”. What does the word mean in the context of the book, and does Holden offer any alternative to phoniness? Is Holden himself guilty of being a phony? How does Salinger want readers to judge ideas about phoniness?

5. Write an essay to explain what the book argues for. What might Salinger have been trying to communicate to his readers through his novel, and how does he do so?


Four Days of Freedom Journal: Christmas vacation is a few days away.  Instead of leaving your private boarding school for the standard two-week vacation, you will be leaving for good because you are failing every subject except English, and have been kicked out.  It’s Saturday, and you have four days before you are expected home, at which time your parents will have received the news about your permanent expulsion. Write a journal entry for each of the four days (Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday) that you’ll be on your own. These entries should be well-developed and include your thoughts about your current predicament, fears of what awaits you at home (especially as you get closer to Wednesday), and descriptions of how you are spending your four days. Consider where you’ll be spending your days and nights (your friends will be in school and your friends’ parents probably know your parents), and what you’ll do with the thousand dollars that you have to blow. Freedom as you know it will probably be lost as soon as you arrive home, so what will you do to make the most of these last four days?

The Soundtrack CD: Select 5 significant moments in the novel. Explain why each moment is critical for Holden. Each song should have a paragraph of an in-depth analysis/explication/description that explains its connection to the novel, using evidence such as: themes, symbols, motifs, and situations that Holden and the novel explore. Select 5 songs that Holden would be listening to during those 5 critical moments if he had an iPod. Songs selected must reflect the mood of the scene and Holden’s mindset at that moment. Student must demonstrate knowledge of Holden, his emotions, his moods, and his experiences. Must provide lyrics and a detailed explanation of how the song lyrics or the music reflect what Holden is experiencing at that moment. Student must provide an explanation of how listening to that song would have influenced Holden. For example, would the song have calmed him down? Added to his frustration? You must include song lyrics, author of song, and explanations as per the requirements.

Newspaper: Create a newspaper for major events of the novel. You can choose quotes from the book to act as your interviews. The different news writing styles can be found in any newspaper.. Your final articles must be put together in a newsletter template, 4 pages minimum. Include ads.
Graphic Novel / Comic Book: Recreate the story in a graphic novel (i.e. comic book) format. Choose the most important scenes – in your view – and tell the story of The Catcher in the Rye.
Holden, Ten Years Later: Write a piece of short fiction in which you join Holden’s life ten years after the story ends. Try, as best you can, to replicate Holden’s unique voice. Write it in the style of The Catcher in the Rye. Try to use what you know of him from the book along with Holden’s state of mind throughout the novel to guide your prediction. Be sure to utilize details from the novel as your springboard. Refer back to events in the novel using flashbacks or reoccurring imagery, quote when possible, and maintain the major themes of the novel. 750 words minimum, typed.

Photographic or Artistic Montage: Create a photo documentary of the places in the novel. If painting, collage, or drawing is your thing, draw these places. Compile montage of scenes depicting Holden’s adventures. All pieces must be captioned with a paragraph that explains it, its significance, and incorporate text based evidence to support your theory. Think of the images that keep recurring in the novel, the places to which Holden travels, etc. This project will be assessed based on the number of scenes depicted and explicated.

Catcher in the Rye: The Motion Picture. Choose a scene/montage of significant event/s in The Catcher in the Rye and turn it/them into screenplay. You should use text book evidence. Requirements: an 8 page script that follows movie script format including setting, camera shots, and cast descriptions (who you want to play who), typed. Video tape the scene/s with friends and do a great job editing: you are a Hollywood producer!
Music or Poetry: Write 5 songs/poems that illustrate points in the novel that are meaningful. You may also incorporate Salinger’s short stories, his life, and analysis of the text(s). For each song/poem, be sure to include a paragraph explication/analysis (minimum) that connects what you wrote to the novel using text based evidence. Compose the music to accompany the lyrics.

Other idea? Propose another topic that will demonstrate your close reading of the novel in a creative way.




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