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The 80 Best The Catcher in the Rye Essay Topics You Should Try

The Catcher in the Rye Essay Topics

The most famous book of Jerome Salinger is the novel “The Catcher in the Rye.” This story is about the schoolboy Holden Caulfield, who escaped at Christmas from school. The novel had a huge impact on the world culture of the 20th century. Holden Caulfield became a soul mate both for all young generations and modern teenagers. For many years it was banned in schools and libraries around the US, and many years later, the book was included in various top lists of the best novels.

Many students are assigned to write essays on “The Catcher in the Rye” and many of them struggle with finding a good topic to write about. To help you with this hard task, we have collected 80 topics in “The Catcher in the Rye.” There are Two Ways to Choose Essay Topics to Write about. In the following article you will find five lists of topics: compare and contrast, analytic, expository, argumentative, and critical.

“The Catcher in the Rye” Essay Topics: Compare and Contrast
1. Compare and contrast the literary device used in “Death of a Salesman” and “The Catcher in the Rye.”
2. Compare and contrast “Dead Poets Society” and “The Catcher in the Rye.”
3. Compare and contrast the common themes in “Thirteen Reasons Why” and “The Catcher in the Rye.”
4. Compare and contrast the protagonists in “Hamlet” and “The Catcher in the Rye.”
5. Compare the protagonists from “The Catcher in the Rye” and “The Stranger.”
6. Compare two books by Salinger: “The Catcher in the Rye” and “Slight Rebellion Off Madison.”
7. Compare and contrast the protagonists in “The Great Gatsby” and “The Catcher in the Rye.”
8. Compare and contrast Susanna from “Girl, Interrupted” and Holden from “The Catcher in the Rye.”
9. Compare “The Catcher in the Rye” and “Into the Wild.”
10. Compare the theme of alienation described in “Your Paris” by Ted Hughes and “The Catcher in the Rye.”
11. Compare the theme of seeking the meaning of life in “Life of Pi” and “The Catcher in the Rye.”
12. Compare two characters from “Rule of the Bone” by Russell Banks and “The Catcher in the Rye.”
13. Compare how the authors of “My Name Is Asher Lev” and “The Catcher in the Rye” define the time period.
14. Compare the problems of Alan Strang from “Equus” and Holden from “The Catcher in the Rye.”
15. Compare literary devices used in “House on Mango Street” and “The Catcher in the Rye.”
16. Compare and contrast “Ordinary People” and “The Catcher in the Rye.”
17. Compare and contrast the writer’s style, characters, and themes in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “The Catcher in the Rye.”

The Catcher in the Rye Essay Topics

“The Catcher in the Rye” Topics: Analytic

1. Analyze the novel “The Catcher in the Rye” using a psychoanalytic approach.
2. Analyze five stages of grief in the novel and how Holden Caulfield deals with it.
3. Analyze the meaning of the human condition in “The Catcher in the Rye.”
4. Analyze how Holden behaves at school and at home. What about his relationships with teachers and classmates helps us to understand more about Holden’s character?
5. Analyze Holden from the perspective of a saint or prophet. How does the protagonist point out stupidity and maliciousness of the surrounding world?
6. Analyze the literary elements that the author has used in “The Catcher in the Rye.”
7. Analyze the theme of growing up and self-understanding.
8. Analyze the novel from the perspective of Bildungsroman.
9. Think about situations from Holden’s present and past that make him feel lonely and alienated. Why is it hard for him to connect with people?
10. Pick a moment from the novel and tell how one single moment can influence the whole story.
11. How does Holden build relationships with people? What kinds of relationships does he have? Why does Holden strive for intimacy with other people?
12. Analyze the novel from a psychological perspective. What moments reveal Holden’s psychological problems and character traits?
13. How are themes of alienation and loneliness presented in “The Catcher in the Rye”?
14. What problems from “The Catcher in the Rye” are still relevant today? Tell about social and cultural problems that were highlighted in the story.
15. Analyze how Holden’s language and the way he organizes thoughts influence the overall story.
16. Analyze the statement “all people wear masks to fit the society” in the context of the novel “The Catcher in the Rye.”
17. Why does Holden love the Museum of Natural History?
18. Analyze Salinger’s writing style in his novel “The Catcher in the Rye.”
19. Analyze Holden’s life as a struggle. Which of his efforts paid off? How does his struggle contribute to the story?
20. Analyze Holden’s relationships with women and patterns he uses in relationships with them.

“The Catcher in the Rye” Essay Topics: Expository

1. Explain the meaning of the red hunting hat in “The Catcher in the Rye.”
2. Explore the theme of rebellion in “The Catcher in the Rye.”
3. Can the book be advised as a summer reading book for the 9th grade?
4. Show how the American experience is presented in “The Catcher in the Rye” and compare it to any piece of American literature or movie.
5. Discuss the following symbols: the ducks, the carousel, and the baseball mitt.
6. Is Holden honest enough with himself? Does he fully understand who he is?
7. Turn your creativity on and think about what has happened between the scene where Holden stops telling the story and the scene where we find out that Holden is in the hospital.
8. What does the novel “The Catcher in the Rye” tell about human nature? Have you ever experienced or seen the same moments in your life?
9. What is clinical depression? Can it be related to Holden?
10. Explore how the American dream is explored in the novel “The Catcher in the Rye.”
11. Discuss how Salinger uses symbols in his novel “The Catcher in the Rye.” What are their meaning and significance? How do symbols help the reader understand Holden?

The Catcher in the Rye Essay Topics

“The Catcher in the Rye” Essay Topics: Argumentative

1. Does Mr. Antolini in “The Catcher in the Rye” give good advice for modern teenagers?
2. Describe the deeper meaning of the novel “The Catcher in the Rye.” What does the story teach the reader?
3. Is Holden an insane person? Or is he a normal person that lives in an insane world? Why?
4. Can Holden be considered a tragic hero? How do the features of tragedy influence the novel’s outcome?
5. What do you feel about Holden’s character? Do you sympathize with him? Why?
6. Is the novel “The Catcher in the Rye” based on one literary element?
7. Is Holden a sociopath? Does he have symptoms?
8. Do all of Holden’s problems come from him being a spoiled child?
9. Can Holden be considered as an anti-hero?
10. What is the overall message of “The Catcher in the Rye”?
11. Is “The Catcher in the Rye” a classic story? Why?
12. Can Holden be considered a static or dynamic character? What features does he have?
13. Explain why “The Catcher in the Rye” should be taught at school.
14. Is “The Catcher in the Rye” a novel about social protest? What aspects of society does Salinger criticize?
15. What does Holden think about innocence?
16. Agree or disagree with the following critique: “Holden doesn’t develop throughout the novel.” Explain your thoughts.

“The Catcher in the Rye” Essay Topics: Critical

1. How does Holden characterize himself? Describe whether he is as perfect as he thinks.
2. How is alcoholism represented in the novel? What influence does it have?
3. How does Holden contradict himself? Pick three contradictory aspects and perceptions.
4. Imagine that you are studying in Holden’s school and you want to persuade him that people around are not phony.
5. What psychological problems does Holden suffer from? What diagnosis can you give him?
6. How can the quote “no garden is without its weeds” be related to “The Catcher in the Rye”?
7. What role does sexuality play in the novel? How does Holden’s views on sexuality influence his character?
8. What is Holden’s point of view on adulthood and adolescence? To which side does he belong? Can it be stated that he has gotten stuck between two worlds?
9. Think about the events that took place in the novel. Why does the novel unfold in such a way?
10. The whole novel is written in the first person. Can we trust Holden’s point of view on situations and other people?
11. What universal themes for adolescents does the novel “The Catcher in the Rye” cover?
12. Why has Salinger written “The Catcher in the Rye”?
13. Critically analyze the quote “you won’t be able to live a good life without trust” in the context of the novel “The Catcher in the Rye.”
14. Critically approach what Holden tells the reader and what he says in dialogues with other people.
15. What did Holden mean by saying, “I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life,” at the beginning of Chapter Three?
16. Why was the novel “The Catcher in the Rye” banned for a long time?

Hopefully, you have found something interesting in our list of “The Catcher in the Rye” topics for essays. If you have chosen a topic but still feel that you can’t handle this task, don’t worry. With the help of the professional writers from WriteMyEssayOnline, you can overcome any assignments with ease. Complete the order form on our site, list your requirements, and receive a complete paper for you by the due date.

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