A coming-of-age novel that is one of the most
frequently taught books in schools, and one of
the most frequently banned books in schools.
Journal #7: Growing Pains
As we all know,
growing up is hard to
Identify at least 10
challenges that we all
face when making the
should have no
Choose 2 challenges
that you listed and
explain, in some
detail, how these
played a part in your
How do you deal
with the “pains” of
What is the hardest
part about being an
Holden Caulfield, the main character, narrates the book.
The book takes place mainly in New York City, in the
He is an unreliable narrator –meaning we see all from his
perspective, which isn’t necessarily the right perspective,
or the way we would see things on our own.
He whines, complains, and has very strong opinions, and
he calls people “phonies”…a LOT.
However, he is an adolescent with issues that we can all
You may find him annoying, and you probably won’t
agree with everything that he does, however, we are
going to try to understand Holden as best we can.
What should I expect?
Why is it so controversial?
FIGHTING CHAIN SMOKING
Most of these topics are not described explicitly, but are
mentioned in the novel in context.
The language is mature, but not anything you wouldn’t hear
day-to-day in a typical high school.
We have to be aware that these issues are issues we must all
deal with, and be mature about.
Some of Holden’s habits, like chain smoking, may seem a bit
extreme, which they are– but consider that this was a different
time period, and certain things were deemed more socially
Holden Caulfield has problems dealing with growing up and
the “phoniness” of the adult world.
He much prefers children to adults, because he appreciates
their innocence and purity.
The loss of innocence is a major topic in this novel.
The big picture…
What does “the loss of innocence”
mean to you?
Can you think of any examples of
innocence being lost?
What does it mean to you?
Is it inevitable that we conform to the world and
society around us?
Is it possible to grow up without becoming a
Can a person grow up and maintain his/her
The Essential Questions:
The Search for Identity
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