HOLDEN CAULFIELD ESSAY
After finishing The Catcher in the Rye choose one of the past AP prompts below to define your subject
of discussion and create a thesis. Your thesis must be approved.
1985 AP Question: A critic has said that one important measure of a superior work of literature is its ability to produce
in the reader a healthy confusion of pleasure and disquietude.
Select a literary work that produces this "healthy confusion." Write an essay in which you explain the sources of the
"pleasure and disquietude" experienced by the readers of the work.
1994 AP Question: In some works of literature, a character who appears briefly, or does not appear at all, is a significant
Choose a novel or play of literary merit and write an essay in which you show how such a character functions in the
work. You may wish to discuss how the character affects action, theme, or the development of other characters.
Avoid plot summary.
1995 AP Question: Writers often highlight the values of a culture or a society by using characters who are alienated from
that culture or society because of gender, race, class, or creed.
Choose a play or novel in which such a character plays a significant role and show how that character's alienation
reveals the surrounding society's assumptions and moral values.
You will be contributing to a discussion of the novel in our forum. Due dates for comments are November 15th,
November 22nd and November 30th. Posts should be made by midnight on the date indicated. (One day past the date is
allowable, but not encouraged.) We will not be discussing the novel in class until the November 30 th / December 1st when
we discuss thesis. Please use our forum to ask questions, provide insights, collaborate, discuss the book, the prompts
above as well as ideas for thesis statements.
While I am requiring 3 posts (that will hopefully roughly split the book into thirds), I encourage you to really engage in
conversation and post many times during your reading.
As you are addressing an AP prompt for this essay, we will be using the AP rubric to assess these papers.