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Catcher in the Rye (Salinger) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions 
Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:

How to Discuss a Book (helpful discussion tips)
Generic Discussion Questions—Fiction and Nonfiction
Read-Think-Talk (a guided reading chart)

Also, consider these LitLovers talking points to get your discussion started for The Catcher in the Rye:

1. Discuss Holden's observations about the carousel's gold ring at the end of the novel. What is the significance of the ring? What do his observations reveal about his state of maturity? In what way has his character changed—or developed—by the end of the story? (See LitCourse 5 on characterization.)

2. Do Holden's encounters with adult hypocrisy ring true to you? Or are they more a reflection of his own deteriorating mental stability? Or both?

3. Holden seems to be reaching out for genuine intimacy in his encounters. Is he himself capable of intimacy? Are any of the other characters capable of providing it? In fact, what is intimacy—sexual and/or non-sexual?

4. What role does Phoebe play in the novel?

5. What is the significance of the title—especially the fact that Holden gets Robert Burns's poem wrong?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution.)

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