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The books Bill gave Charlie - common theme?

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Leah Was there a common thread to the books that Bill gave him to read? In some cases I see mental issues as common to a few, but there could be something else there.

Here's the list from Wikipedia:
In the novel, Charlie's teacher, Bill, assigns him various books to read. Charlie describes them all as his favorites.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
'This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The Stranger by Albert Camus
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
The book also references a book of poems by E. E. Cummings, The Mayor of Castro Street by Randy Shilts, a book by Anne Rice, and an autobiography of a woman who was a character in Reds, most likely Emma Goldman. The poem "A Person/A Paper/A Promise" by Dr. Earl Reum is also mentioned.


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A i want to read the fountainhead,but i can't find it anywhere :(


Jeni Fascinating question! I was motivated by your query so I looked up the themes on SparkNotes. Here's a run down:

*To Kill a Mockingbird - Transition from child-like innocence to experience

*This Side of Paradise - Self-discovery through life experiences.

*A Separate Peace - Relationships that should develop individually, not based on another's personality. Finding oneself.

*Peter Pan - Choosing to grow up and take responsibility for oneself.

*The Great Gatsby - Social distinctions and corruption; being responsible.

*The Catcher in the Rye - Outside of the world and victimized by it; that alienation provides stability.

*On the Road - Finding confidence and strength in love.

*Naked Lunch - A trip about drugs, sex, experimentation and their consequences.

*Walden - The importance of self-reliance

*Hamlet - The consequences of acting on emotion and in vengeance or impulsiveness.

*The Stranger - The irrationality of the Universe.

*The Fountainhead - Winning the right to act according to one's own principles.

>>I think the main themes of each of these books mirror the transitions and experience Charlie makes in his first year of High School. What do you think?<<


Leah Wow! I thought I saw something. You nailed it! Recently I noticed a writer repeatedly referring to Catcher in the Rye and it was the main message of the book, almost as if the author was leading you there. I felt like Bill was trying to reach Charlie through literature. I think I'll keep that list handy (I'm soon to be a teacher, hopefully lit)


Leah Amelia wrote: "i want to read the fountainhead,but i can't find it anywhere :("

Amazon has it for less than $4 for used. Ayn Rand is the authorAmelia wrote: "i want to read the fountainhead,but i can't find it anywhere :("

Montanamarynotmartha wrote: "Was there a common thread to the books that Bill gave him to read? In some cases I see mental issues as common to a few, but there could be something else there.

Here's the list from Wikipedia:
In..."



Jeni Montanamarynotmartha wrote: "I think I'll keep that list handy (I'm soon to be a teacher, hopefully lit)"
Good luck! I think this comparison would be a good subject for a thesis. "Classic literature as a guiding theme in modern storytelling."


Leah Great thesis!You could find so much material it would be a breeze to write.


Jeni In fact, I would go backwards and pick two or three popular novel series and deconstruct them to reveal any prevailing classic literature themes.

Then, I would cross-reference these series to see if they all use similar tones or themes as a foundation for popular young adult modern stories.

So very fascinating.


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