I never understood what all the fuss was about until I started making lesson plans for this book. There are so many different ways that this novel canI never understood what all the fuss was about until I started making lesson plans for this book. There are so many different ways that this novel can be interpreted.
Some people say it is about a spoiled child who wants to rebel from society, others argue that Holden is a parentless child who is looking for guidance.
I believe Holden is an emotionally crippled teen looking for a way out of his problems. His parents are not around, and he has recently lost his brother. He has no one to turn to, and ends up sliding into a depression that borders on schizophrenia.
Holden is writing his story from a sanitarium, something that we never discussed when I was reading the novel in school. It is also interesting that he refers to his brother as D.B....which could stand for "Dead Brother"...just something I heard a fellow teacher mention.
I think the book should be taught at a higher level (11th or 12th grade), and all aspects of it should be discussed in class, including Holden's mental illness.
As for the controversial language and sexuality...I think that was more of the time period. I don't think many people would find that aspect of the novel shocking anymore, if anything, I know some teens that make Holden's antics look tame....more