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Essay Outline For The Catcher In The Rye

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Outline: introduction Attention Grabber: Imagine living a lie and acting as if it were real. Imagine believing everyone is a phony when you are the biggest one. Step into the shoes of Holden Caulfield if you wish to continue.

Background Information: J.D Salinger’s “ Catcher In The Rye” tells the tragic story of a teenager’s battle to fit in. Holden a pretty privileged young man at home and at pencey prep seems to have the ideal life. He is trying to find meaning in his life but the “phoniness” around him keeps him depressed. Due to the death of his little brother and his past experiences he is able to see more flaws in society compared to the average teenager. He never seems to accept that everyone has flaws including him. If poor Holden isn’t able to
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He calls others phonies in order to distance himself from other people’s “phoniness”.

Detail #1: Before Holden says he wants to be “The Catcher in the Rye” he claims that all adults are inevitably phonies.

Explanation: We already know that Holden expresses himself by calling everyone a phony, it makes him feel good about himself. He called all adults inevitably phonies; what he means by this is that adults are already phonies and can’t or will not change. This stereotypical idea of Holden’s is not based on fact but rather perception due to his past experiences with adults.

Detail #2: “ Shake their hands and give them a phony smile then go talk.” (2.60)

Explanation: Holden is being pretty much fake right now. He is saying that He should give the adults a fake phony smile and shake hands with them. Then start a conversation with them. These conversations especially with adults lead to Holden’s classic fake stories that are made up on the spot. Another demonstration of phoniness because of Holden’s insecurities and “phoniness”.

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