Wednesday, Sept. 12

English 10:

  • Leadership Essay
  • HWK–Typed, MLA formatted essay due by the end of class Friday

AP Lang:

  • The Crucible and Catcher Discussion
  • HWK–By Sunday, 9/16, before midnight you must post two times:  One is your original thoughts and the other must be a response to a classmate’s post.

** To leave a post, simply click the Leave a Comment link below.  You will be asked to enter your name (please use your full name & period #) and your email address.  Remember, your post will not automatically show; it will first be sent to me to receive approval.

What else do you want to discuss about The Crucible or Catcher in the Rye?  You can respond or add to something that was brought up in our discussion,  or you can bring up something else you annotated in the novel.  Make sure each of your responses is high-quality and an extended paragraph in length.


93 thoughts on “Wednesday, Sept. 12

  1. In The Crucible, religion was used in many cases to support claims that accused someone for being a witch. For example, when Betty wakes up wailing, because people were singing a religious song: “‘The psalm! The psalm! She cannot bear to hear the Lord’s name!”‘ How would the accused witches’ fates be different if religion was not a factor in this book?

    • I think that it would not of been too much of a great deal, but because of the fact that religion did play a role is why they were punished and also the reason that they were accusing so many other people, but if religion did not play a role I think that the situation would not of gone as far as going it did by going to court and hanging innocent people that were falsely accoused.

    • I think that if religion had not been a factor in this play then there would be no play. The entire reason that these witch trials are going on is because the puritans think that witches are against God. If religion plays no factor, then God is no longer a factor. Without their desire to please God and rid the world of those who are against him, they wouldn’t care one bit if there were witches walking around. The religion in this play is what makes the story, if it was no longer a part of it, then nothing else would make sense.

    • I think that if religion had not been a factor in the book, there wouldn’t be a book at all. The whole shebang would not have even happened, because the religion and culture of the new settlers would have been at the same state as we are today–skeptical or the unnatural. The whole reason that the book happened was because the knowledge of health conditions and human behavior was so underdeveloped, they didn’t understand the actions of the girls or anything that was considered to be witch-like. Anything not holy or following God’s light was considered unnatural and to be in control of evil spirits.

    • I agree with Sam in that, without religion, there would not be a book. Not only that, I think that, had their not been religion, the situation as it was in Salem would have been prevented. I do not believe there ever would have been the infamous Salem Witch Trials, and had there not been, there would not be “The Crucible” because it would be very hard to imagine this situation if it weren’t a reality. Also, the quote Timmy posted clearly shows that the belief in God, or the lack there of, convicts someone of being a witch. Betty couldn’t say the Lord’s name, so had their been no belief in the Holy God, this wouldn’t have happened and Betty wouldn’t have necessarily been accused. The book’s basis is on the belief in God and the Devil.

  2. I noticed that part of the second act was taken out and put in the back of the book. I read it, and it highlighted more of the relationship between Abigail and Proctor and their past history. Why did they feel it necessary to take out the meeting since it helped the reader define the connection between the two? Was it simply to reduce the length or is there something more that I’m missing?

    • Viewing this as a script I believe this scene was omitted from act two because the scene prior to it, with Mary Warren panicking and crying ” I cannot, I cannot” is a great little cliff hanger right before an intermission. Miller also probably didn’t move this scene to the beginning of act three because it would leave for an awkward set transition from somewhere dark and outdoors, to the courthouse the next morning.

    • I think that Arthur Miller left it out exactly to make sure the reader didn’t get to have that defined connection between Proctor and Abigail. I went back and read it again, and realized that it is kind of a slap in the face and gives away too much of the plot. Without the extra scene, it really makes Abigail seem like an incredibly devious master mind, what with being able to act like Mary Warren was a witch right there on the spot. Upon reading the scene in the back of the book, I saw that John blatantly states that he is going to confess his fornication. Not to mention that, but then Abigail says,” fear naught. I will save you tomorrow” (Miller 152). Reading this gave me the impression that she was actually prepared to defend herself and maybe she was planning her little acting against Mary Warren. She is still, in my mind, pretty devious, but being able to make up something like she did on the spot lends so much more to the conniving character that she portrays.

  3. In Chapter 24 of Catcher in the Rye, Holden is awakened by Mr. Antolini stroking his hair. He freaks out, and leaves the apartment quickly, flustered and skittish. Mr. Antolini was one of the only adults that he trusted throughout the entire book, and he drops every gram of trust he had for Mr. Antolini when this happens. From their earlier conversation, about how Holden’s life is rather going down the garbage disposal, Mr. Antolini sounded like he really cares about Holden as a pained and socially inept student–not as a man making advances on Holden. But what really interests me is Holden’s final commentary on the subject: “When something perverty like that happens, I start sweating like a bastard.That kind of stuff’s happened to me about twenty times since I was a kid. I can’t stand it.” (193) I think that many people care about Holden, but he is too delusioned to see how sad and worried he makes them.
    Sam Wilson Period 6

    • I agree with you. Holden seems like he is very cynical and too caught up in seeing the negatives in life that he is unable to let people in to help him. Mr. Antolini, Phoebe, and Mr. Spencer all have serious concerns for his future but he refuses to listen to any of them. He might have ended up in a different situation if he had listened and started taking his academic future seriously. Also, I think he is too immature to really understand his actions. For instance, in the hotel room with Sunny, he is unwilling to make any sexual contact with her because he claims he doesn’t feeling like horsing around. His immaturity could be the reason for thinking that Mr. Antolini was being a pervert, when in reality, he might have just been admiring Holden as a mother admires her new child. So I was wondering what your point of views are on the situation. Do you think Mr. Antolini was being a pervert? And do you think that Holden is immature or just not right mentally?
      Michael Moser Period 3

      • This post made me think different about the whole “Mr. Antolini being a pervert” situation. At first I found it odd that he would allow Holden to come over in the middle of the night, and Holden’s comments about being woken by Mr. Antolini only added to my confusion. After reading these two comments I am starting to think that Mr. Antolini was not the one that is not right in the head. I suspect Mr. Anotolini was well aware of the path Holden’s life was on and Holden is too blind to realize that people are trying to help him.
        In response to Michael’s question, Holden’s maturity and mental state are both low. He likes to pretend that he is very witty, and mature for his age. For examaple when he talks to a classmate’s mom on the train, or chats with the nuns, but in reality he is just in his own little world, and is not smart enough to realize his life is being wasted on silly things.

    • I concur, as well. Although the gesture is quite out of place, Mr. Antolini didn’t seem like he was making a gesture towards romantic or physical feelings, but more of a action like that of a parent or close family member. Holden’s life is on the rails, and this man who was once in a position to guide him is watching him almost running in the wrong direction. And the quote you cited pulls this into persective; when you’re a child almost everyone older than you feels as if they are partly responsible for your actions. Mr. Antolini felt that by Holden seeking his guidance once again, and maybe helped along by his inebriation, that the gesture was applicable and appropriate.
      -Amelia Tornatore Period 6

      • I believe the cause for Holden thinking that Mr. Antolini is a pervert is more because of his social boundries than anything else. I believe there is something going on with Holden that prevents him from having normal veiws of people. Something such as social akwardness. Considering that “That kind of stuffs happened to me about twenty times since I was a kid.” (193) indicates that he might have a little distortion when it comes to people showing him any kind of affection. Although the fact that they had been drinking did not help matters.

  4. Okay Abigail Freakin Williams, can we please talk about how a marvelously crafted and two-faced of a character Abigail is. When she’s with her girlfriends she is a snap snap, megasassy, in control queen bee. But when she’s with Parris she’s an innocent little kitten who doesn’t know any better and couldn’t possibly deserve punishment. And then John shows up and she evolves into an eloquent and mature succubs that is clearly the perfect wife for such a big, strong, handsome farmer. And when Goody Proctor is around Abigail doles out the coldest of shoulders and sticks her nose so far up in the air your vision is filled with swampy mucus. Through the entire script she masterfully manipulates everyone she comes across just so she can get in John’s pants. Arthur Miller, you have my highest regards.

    • Brandi,
      You couldn’t have said it any better. I believe Abigail puts herself out there as an innocent, little girl to maintain her chaste status in the town, but she, deep down, is the ringleader of all the shenanigans occuring in this town. Like our discussion in class, I believe Abigail is a sneaky, malevolent creature that only focuses on herself the whole play.

  5. I noticed that religion and ratting out the people in the community was really the backbone of the whole story. Especially Abigail she wanted to clear her name by blaming so many other innocent people. Even though by just saying the truth she could of avoided all this mess but instead she acts very inocent around the adults but when she is with the other girls her attitude just totally transforms into a snobby brat that rules over the little girls like for example ” Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word,about the other things, and i will to you in the some terrible night and I will come to you and I will bring pointy reckoning that will shudder you.” (Crucible, 20)

  6. I think if religion was not a factor in The Crucible that the witches would be less likely to get hanged, but merely just put in jail for a very long time. I think that the more authoritative figures in Salem would not be so obsessed with the notion that everyone must hang for the town to be pure again. The punishments for the witches would be different because the government and people of the town would over rule the church if religion was not a factor.
    Mariah Johnston Period 3

  7. In the Crucible, I want to know how Abigail was able to live with herself. It seemed throughout all the terrible things she did, she never experienced the feeling of guilt. She had an affair with John proctor (not caring one bit if she ruined the relationship between him and his wife), she took the girls into the forest and went against their religion, and she accused many of her close neighbors and supposed friends of witchcraft, which led to many of their deaths. I did not notice an apology from her once, she just kept at her strange desire to make everyone else’s lives more miserable in order to make her pitiful life better. Was the cause of her cruel actions the fact that she did not have parents? Was she rebelling against her strict uncle (Reverend Parris)? Or was she just born strange and decided she wanted to have a little bit of psycotic fun?

  8. Since we are on the topic of religion mostly, I would like to bring up what I thought was the most ironic part of the book. Throughout the witch trials, what was thought to be a “witch’s” only chance to become an upstanding christian was through confession; once those people confessed, they had come to the light of God. Yeah, right. By confessing to their “witchcraft”, the accused actually got farther from Christianity than before. They told a lie — which doesn’t quite align with the Christian religion. In fact, if most of these people followed the religion that they professed to be, they would all be dead. they would never have confessed lies and they would have died. Isn’t it ironic, how the one thing the reverends thought could save John Proctor and the people like Rebecca Nurse was actually the one thing that put the nail through the coffin. Believe it or not, John Proctor was actually an upright christian man, despite his absence in the church congregation every Sunday. Oh the irony. Well played Mr. Miller. Well Played.

    • Interesting Kyle, that’s a good point. If they were all true to their faith, more would have died, and even though their life had ended, true Christians would have accepted their fate, believing they would be ascending to heaven. However, I think that so many of them were worried about where they would end up due to past mistakes, that they feared death and chose life, perhaps hoping to later redeem themselves for their weakness to temptation. I do agree with you though, that John Proctor was probably the most faithful of all, even if he did not attend church weekly and committing adultery. When it mattered most, he did what he believed, in his heart, to be morally correct, and, even though it took him take to come to the decision, he stuck with it, even though it meant his eminent doom.

      • I think i know what you are saying Riley, but i am not sure i agree. I think that if the people in Salem were true to there religion less people would have died, not more. If the girls that were accused of being witches would have stayed true to their religion they would not have accused others of being witches. They wouldn’t have condemned the lives of others just to save their own skins. That is not the christian way. Good christians would try and save the lives of others not condemn them. Lying is something that is also something that a good christian shouldn’t do, and if they would have just told the truth and stuck with their anwser less people would have died. that is one reason why John proctor was one of the best christian men in that town even though he may not have attended church as much as he should have.

    • I thought that that was genius, and the irony thickens when considering that lying is not only a betrayal to Christianity, but a massive stain to their previosly “clean names”. If having a clean name was as important to others as it was to John Proctor, then most of the citizens of Salem willingly gave up the two concepts that they held dearest just to stay alive. By confessing to witchcraft they not only lie, they choose to be forever remembered as having walked with the devil. These two ironies work in unison to create a higher level irony than both added together. Like multiplication, but cooler.

    • This is a great point. But it also boils down to the pressure and stress that causes someone to lie to save their skin. A simple lie is easy to forgive if its made for the right reason, and given the stress that was put on each of the accused, its a miracle they didn’t die before the did/didn’t confess. Imagine if someone came to your door, pointing a gun at your face, and said “you can either say you robbed the bank and ill let you go with nothing but a ticket, or you can tell the truth and say you didnt rob the bank and ill shoot you.” Most people would rather pay a nominal cost and keep their life than lose it. Therefore this situation is easily forgivable. So i don’t think that what the accused in the Crucible did necessarily made them bad Christians.

  9. I want to know what Abigail’s true intentions were. We all know she wanted to be with John Proctor and had an extreme dislike for Elizabeth, but Abigail took the accusations incredibly far, and never once looked back. Did she simply despise the entire town for looking down upon her and her relationship with John? Maybe, in reality, she was a form of a which and worked with the devil and was instructed to tear down the peaceful community? Such a clever girl, did she really think of it all on her own? She did cause John to cheat on his wife and sin, caused numerous to lie and sin, and condemned 19 people. All because this little girl was jealous of Elizabeth? More like a crazed psychopathic devil-worshiping demon child than a sweet, innocent, little girl!

    Riley Morgan Period 6

    • I think that the reason that she went to all that trouble wasn’t to condemn someone else- it was to clear her own name. From the very beginning, when she is a suspect in making Betty sick, she places the blame on others so as not to be blamed herself. I think that her true intentions were to keep herself safe and to not worry about how it would affect others. She also may have used the blaming to take down some of her enemies, like Elizabeth, but I don’t think that that was what she intended to do from the start. She mostly just showed herself to be a very selfish and manipulative person.

      • I think A has more at stake than just her good name. She is pretty viscous, and from the beginning, engages in acts (adultery, dancing in the forest, etc.) that are shunned by society at the time. What might she be after?

  10. At the Crucible…I think religion plays a huge part in this play. Like many people stated, it influenced how basically everybody acted in the play, and I agree with a lot of people about what they said. If the whole church (in the book) wasn’t trying to twist everything around to make it look like they are doing what they are doing because it’s the “christian thing to do”, then I think a lot of people would not have been hung. Obviously everybody needed to step back and really reflect on what sins they were committing, and look at how far back they are leaping away from Christianity. Especially Abigail, who really put a lot of people through the unthinkable….was this all premeditated, or did she just happen to think of all the insane things she did as they were thrown at her?

    • I agree with you Aidan. Like Ms. Kitchens was saying, about the towns people being exactly like a crucible and as the heat gets more intense people start doing crazier things. I think that is why Abigail did all of those unbelievable things. I think she did come up with all of those pretend acts and lies right off the top of her head, because it was in the heat of the moment and she did not want to get caught.

  11. In the Catcher in the Rye, Holden talks about girls quite often. He says he really likes Jane but then again he never actually calls her to hangout or talk. Whenever he goes to the phone he is thinking about calling Jane but he always ends up calling someone else. He says, ” I thought of giving old Jane a buzz, to see if she was home yet and all, but i wasn’t in the mood.” Then he says,” What I did do, I gave old Sally Hayes a buzz.” Chapter 15 First pg. He can never make up his mind about who he is calling. Why do you think he never actually tries to contact Jane? Is it because he is scared of his feelings or he just does not want to talk to her after she hung out with his friend Stradlater. Even when he gets a chance to have sexual contact with a girl, he ends up just talking to the girl. Why does he have such a hard time with girls? Holden even tried getting Sally to run away with him. Which Sally says no because she thinks it is a stupid idea. He has no relationship with any of the girls in the book except for his little sister. Why is that? I think he does not think anyone actually cares about him except his sister Phoebe.

    • i think your right on your assumption, the fact is that the guy has some social disorder that prevents him from getting close to people that he actually likes, which prevents him from making friends and connecting with people properly, which leads him to believe that know girl he meets actually likes him, because he cant admit that its his fault through most of this

      • Savannah, Interesting question! My take on Holden is that he is an outsider, who, like most teens, is worried about being accepted/rejected. Sometimes it’s just easier to not call that cute guy or girl, because then you don’t have to hear them say “NO,” right? I remember that’s why I didn’t ask out boys in high school. 😉 H seems to have very low confidence, nor can he find anything positive to discuss/explore. Sounds like he may be depressed.

  12. you know, something that bugs me in The Crucible is the fact that the other girls who were with Abigail that night didn’t just speak the truth about what they did, i know Abigail threatened to hurt them, but if they had confessed before it came to accusations on Abigail’s part, they could have helped themselves and the other people because, i’m sure the townsfolk wouldn’t stand for threats on peoples lives like that.

  13. I believe that religion did play a role in the play. How it was used to exploit the ever rules that people allowed to govern their lives. Abigail then used that to control other peoples lives to obtain her revenge. If religion had played such an important role in the play some events might have been avoided. The event of Betty acting bewitched is just one example. Another example is the event of Mary Warren telling Danforth that “it were pretense, sir” and having no one in the end believe her because Abigail then turns on Mary Warren and tries to get Mary hung(Miller 89). If religion was not part of this event others would have realized that the girls were only acting as if they were bewitched.

  14. 13. In Cather In the Rye, Holden is constantly looking for something to do. I am wondering if this is his longing to catch people in “the field of rye” that he refers to when talking to his little sister, or is it him being lonely? I truly do not understand why he wants to “help” people when he is helpless himself, there are many times in the book that offer Holden “outs”, yet, he never takes them, why is this?
    Tiffanie Matthews, Period 6,

  15. Lindsay,
    I think the reason why Abigail is unforgiving is because she is scared. Not an excuse at all, but in, from my experience, when I was little and my sisters and I did something bad we blamed it on somebody else because we were afraid of the punishment. Perhaps this is Abigail’s cowardice surfacing.

  16. In Catcher In the Rye, J. D. Salinger manages to do something very interesting: he shows us what certain people in Holden’s life are like even though we never actually come across them in the book. Holden’s parents are well off, intellingent and friendly. We know this even though the closest we get to them is when Holden hides from them. As readers, we learn much more about his life than what happens during the three day span in which the novel takes place. This is an aspect of Catcher In the Rye that is not noticed very much, but Salinger deserves credit for weaving Holden’s life into the situations presented in such a short amount of time.

  17. Throughout Catcher In the Rye, Holden talks about all these people, but we never get to meet them. Yes, he gives us insight on their personalities and his past experiences with them, but never having contact with them in the novel creates gaps. I kept wondering if he was ever going to call up Jane Gallagher. Was he ever going to rekindle their friendship? I feel J.D. Salinger pushed the readers towards Holden’s past and focused a lot of time on past events of Holden’s younger years. When he actually tried to tell the story of what Holden went through within those three days, he lacked description on the important parts, and used an excessive amount on details that did not matter much.

  18. I also noticed that I felt very confused and lost throughout the novel. I kept trying to reason out Holden’s decisons and statements, but then i realized i can’t because I am not Holden. The story is told fresh from the mind of a troubled teenage boy. Of course I can’t completely relate and understand! Even though I would never commit any of the acts Holden had, I did feel an emotion connection to this fictional character. Once I got past the confusion, I did really begin to appreciate this form of writing. I have never read anything this unpolished and raw.

  19. I think it seems odd that throughout The Crucible as people start to realize the consequences for denying their witchcraft or participation in it they start “admitting” they did it so they may not have as much consequence for “speaking the truth” but they are really just telling a lie. John Proctor is the only one who stands up for this and tells them that he doesn’t have to sign his name. I wonder why out of all people he was the only one who decided to take action?

    • Interesting question, Claire. One of my first thoughts is that the town was in such a heightened frenzy, very few would stand up for themselves; in the context, it was just easier to go with the flow and point the finger at others. Because Proctor is the only one who takes a clear stand, I suggest it as evidence of the rarity of such integrity and of the consuming frenzy of the time. Don’t forget about Giles Corey, though…to what extent is he a “Proctor” too? Or does he take the “easy” way out?

  20. In the Crucible, Reverend Hale comes to Salem confident in his faith and morals. Throughout the trial of the supposed “witches” his beliefs are continuously tested. When trying to convince John Proctor to confess he makes this statement, “There are orphans wandering from house to house… no man knows when the harlots’ cry will end his life”. Do you believe he is beginning to question his faith and stand of justice?

  21. I felt that The Catcher In the Rye was quite an interesting book because it was written from a teenagers point of view so we can relate in some ways but I also think that there was not really a conclusion. It got confusing because he brought up many people and subjects but then we never found out the conclusion of them in the end so it leaves us wondering.
    Claire Coalwell, Period 6

    • I agree with you Claire it was a pretty interesting book. It was very different but in a good way. There really wasn’t a Conclusion. I think it would have been better if we actually found out what happened in the end and if he actually met some of those people he was talking to, or if his parents were actually mad at him. Why does J. D. Salinger not write a conclusion to the story? Why does’nt he at least tell us if he met some of the people Holden talks about?

  22. In the Crucible, the officials used the method of forced confession on the townspeople to find the “witches”. The same sort of method was being used in normal-day society that Arthur Miller was living in. My question is how did the government and officials continue to use this method, whilst knowing that the accused would more likely falsely confess and point fingers, then die? It was a snowball effect, the amount of people being accused got larger and larger and nothing was being solved. So why did they continue to do this? Also, I noticed that people of more official status never got accused, like Rev. Hale in The Crucible. Was this because of their status in the town?

  23. In “The Crucible”, Abigail is constantly changing her story. First, they weren’t even in the field. Then, they were there, but there was no dancing. Finally she admits to dancing, but still claims that neither nakedness nor witchcraft were practiced. Who’s to say that her story wouldn’t have changed with further accusation or deliberation? Who’s to say that what she’s saying is anywhere close to the truth at all? How come Parris and the others still believe her after she admits to lying?

  24. While I was reading the Catcher in the Rye, I noticed how bothered Holden was about the ducks in the Central Park Lagoon, “Well, you know the ducks that swim around in it? In the springtime and all? Do you happen to know where they go in the winter time by any chance?” (107) Is there a deeper meaning attached to his fascination with the ducks or is he simply curious about them? Many times I find myself struggling to dissect what is metaphoric or symbolic to Holden or what is just passing through his mind at that moment. What is up with the ducks?

    • In response to Bridgette, #24: I think the reason Holden wants to know so much about the ducks and where they go in the wintertime, is becasue the ducks symbolize Holden. Like the ducks, Holden is forced to move, although he would rather stay where he is where, comfortable and surrounded by his family. We all know Holden has some serious maturing up to do, and with his switch of environment he will find out who he really is. The ducks also symbolize Holden’s depression and lonliness, making him aware that this is not where he belongs, and like the ducks it is time for him to move on and face the reality of his own life.

  25. In response to Lindsay, #7: Good question. There are some heartless people in the world, and I think Abigail just happened to be one of those people. She may not have started off that way, but as more and more people were being brought in and the case started growing, she figured “what the heck, we’ve come this far”. II think she just wanted to see what would happen. I think she just wanted to “have a little bit of psychotic fun” and see what she and her friends were capable of doing.

  26. A response for Amelia #23: I think that none of them truly believed her after so many edits to her story. Of those who sided with her, my belief is: Parris was protecting his name as Reverend, Deputy Governor Danforth is to pigheaded to see reason, and will believe anything that upholds the stature of the court, and the others are just siding with her to make sure they don’t get falsely accused of being a witch. Pride and fear make people blind to reason.

  27. i agree with what everyone is saying about “The Crucible” and how religion played a huge part in this play. It is exactly how Ms. Kitchens said when she explained the title and what it ment. The town is just like a crucible in the way that when everything started getting heated and intense everyone started breaking down. When Abigail started being questioned and pushed she just broke down and gave up who ever she had to to get out of it. All the people in the town are pressured by the The Church to do what is right or you will be punished, which i believe is one of the main causes for everyone in the town turning on each other and pointing fingers at who to blame.

  28. In the Catcher in the Rye, Holden is so set on running away, but when Phoebe meets him at the museum with a suticase saying she is coming with Holden simply refuses. “You can’t take anything. Because you’re not going. I’m going alone. So shut up”(267). Phoebe gets angry at Holden and starts begging and pleading, and Holden still says no. After a while Holden changes his mind and tells Phoebe, “In the first place, I’m not going away anywhere, I told you. I’m going home” (269). Was this Holden’s plan the whole time, to make out like he is running away and not follow through? Or did seeing Phoebe’s reaction alter his decision?

  29. Through out reading the Catcher in the Rye, I noticed that Holden thinks everyone besides his sister is a “phony”. When in reality Holden is the phony. He is constantly lying to himself in hopes to make himself happy. He always has something negative to say about others. He is very indecisive when it comes to girls and what he wants. By the end of the novel and after all that Holden has been through his mind set still hasn’t changed. I think that Holden has the mind set that he cant change and he cant have any type of relationship with anyone, but yet he never really tried or gave anyone the chance. And at that he refuses to change because at that point he doesn’t think that he is the problem.

  30. When reading Cather in the Rye, I found myself having a very hard time getting through the book. I felt the book was strangely written and there was barely any plot to the story. I remember talking about the book with Miranda and finding it difficult to find a good plot (or point) to the writing of the book. I found myself waiting for the plot to take off, but it never did. Along with there being no plot, Holden annoyed me because he could never make up his mind and his thoughts were random. After discussing the book, I realize why we read the book but I still look at it with distaste. Did anyone else find it difficult to finish the book? If anyone liked the book from the beginning can they tell me what they enjoyed about it?
    Rachel Olson Period 6

  31. Savannah,
    I agree with you. Holden is always changing his mind and complaining about girls and then when he gets a chance he refuses it. I think he is either oversensitive about relationships or he doesn’t think anyone cares besides phoebe. He tends to go back and forth between Sally and Jane. He probably doesn’t know what he wants exactly in life yet so he doesn’t stick to one decision for long periods of time.

  32. I find Holden, the main character of Catcher in the Rye, has very interesting diction. Although I find it very, well, terrible it made a lot of sense to me regarding his character. His diction made him seem arrogant because he is always repeating himself to instill that he is right, always right. “I know it is. I know it.” (8) Which is true to his character he is very arrogant and knows he is right about everyone being a phony. He also supplies us as readers with unnecessary ammounts of information when it is not needed and none at all when it is needed. He will break in the middle of a sentence just to say how hard the bed he is sitting on is. While the incident with Mr. Antolini left us curious and needing to know more.

  33. Response to Aidan #10: I agree with Mariah. I believe Abigail came up with all of her lies when she needed them. She was scared for her own life and did not mind who died as long as she lived. She bullied the other girls onto her side just to save her own skin. I think Abigail found the trials to be a sort of game as well. She had the whole town wrapped around her finger. As soon as someone would contradict her or blame her she could pretend to go into hysterics and that person would be punished. I think the trials acted as her entertainment for awhile. Then as soon as she became bored or discovered for a fake, Abigail could get up and leave without any punishment.

  34. In response to Rachel #30: I completely agree with you!! I also didnt like how repetitive his narration was. It seemed too that EVERYTHING made him sounds like he decided randomly to write down what he was thinking over the period of the book, and I wasn’t sure what the point of the book was. It was very monotonous.

  35. Holden, of “Catcher in the Rye” is a human being who is bat-crazy, that automatically makes him an unreliable source. His descriptions stem from the fact that she is his rock in life. A being that will mirror some of his emotions and make him realize that he is wrong for trying to do as he does. Phoebe is the one thing that can make him cling to normalcy, unlike any other person.
    (Danielle Pace, Period 6)

  36. We talked in class about how Holden is telling this story from a mental institution. If he is in there he must have some type of mental dissability. I never found evidence as to what dissability he has. I think it is just that he is socially awkward and never really recovered from the death of Allie or when he witnessed the suicide of his classmate. But if he had PTSD then he wouldnt necessarily be in a mental institution, which then would mean that he has to have something else.
    Luke Hudson Period:6

      • You’ve got to remember this book takes place in the forties. A person didn’t need to be actually crazy or have a disability to be put in a mental institution. They’d lock you away just for being weird in some cases, and Holden isn’t exactly what we call a normal citizen contributing to the greater good of the society.

    • Luke, Levi is correct in this case. Up until the 70’s,even, people were institutionalized for depression, insomnia, etc–anything that was deemed “abnormal.” All kinds of heinous treatments were used, much of which was overkill for relatively common, non-violent psychiatric disorder. Now we just prescribe TONS of prescription drugs! (Hard to tell which is better–)

  37. In response to Maddy (post number 29):
    The entire point of the novel was to have a hypocritical voice telling the story. I do believe that if the story were told from a sane, not-hypocritical person, we would have a story criticizing the insane kid in room 13 of the mental hospital (Holden) as the nurse listens to Holden tell his story. It would no longer be the favorite book among serial killers.

  38. (I understand that this question was briefly discussed in class, but I feel the need to further elaborate)
    I think that the title for for “The Crucible” is suiting for the contents of the play because the definitions of crucible are “a ceramic or metal container in which metals or other substances may be melted or subjected to very high temperatures” and “a place or occasion of severe test or trial.” Obviously the play literally takes on the definition of the latter because of the heated debates throughout, particularly within the courtroom scene. Also one could infer that a test or trail of individual’s morals. The first definition is assumed in the allegorical sense because the townsfolk are pushed to the melting point, in which they give in, like substances do when placed inside a crucible.
    (Bridgette Petzoldt, Period 3)

  39. What I found most interesting about Arthur Miller’s writing of The Crucible was how he introduced his characters. Most playwrights introduce a specific character through the eyes and words and opinions of other characters. With Miller, however, after a new character is brought forth, he reveals who he or she is by giving one to sometimes three pages of information on him or her, oftentimes going into frivolous details. I feel that having the characters introduced in this way, with no opinions, leaves room for the audience or reader to come to his or her own conclusion on how he or she first feels about a given character.

  40. I personally liked “The Crucible” more than I liked “Catcher in the Rye”. I do appreciate the literature in “Catcher in the Rye” though it’s story line did not at any point catch my interest. “The Crucible” caught my attention since the first five pages, I love learning about witches and how a the people of America used to believe that women were witches. I recently learn that when women confessed that they were rarely hung and that the ones that refused to say were the ones that were killed. Those American times have always fascinated me.

  41. i feel like “Catcher In The Rye” had absolutely no plot and really no storyline whatsoever. But, on a side note, it has a very high allegorical value. Though it was rather bland and just, to be blunt, a terrible book in my opinion, it does have an underlying meaning to life. I think Holden was just too cynical for my tastes

  42. Response to first comment:
    I think if it were not for religion abigail would not have had as much leverage to get out of this situation she and the other girls got themselves into. Religion is what made the things they in the forest that much more of a sin and therefor it frightended the other girls in a way that forced them to listen to her. It also gave them the ability to try to get themselves out of it in such a way that it made the whole situation look as if it was none of the girls faults.

  43. To Bridgette’s post:
    I also took on the sense that “crucible,” used as the first term, is ironic. In Chemistry, an open flame is often used underneath a crucible, and the materials inside the crucible often catch on fire, or turn to ash. As myths and other tales go, witches were burned at the stake. Although a crucible is nowhere near a stake, burning does, nonetheless, occur.

  44. In response to Rachel post 30:
    I had the same trouble with the book. I had to force myself to keep reading it and after i read parts it seemed as if i still had no idea as to what was going on in the book because i just could not focus enough on the words to put it into my memory for more than 2 seconds at a time. Even now all i really remember about the book is that the main character’s name was holden and that he was very strongly opinionated about everyone and everything.

  45. In response to Brandi #4
    I completely agree with you about how intricate her personality was. How she used her emotions as a cover of her surreptitious like attitude. It was one of the pieces to the book that hooked me. I found every single bit of her interesting.

  46. In response to Tori Webber (post #39):
    I agree completely with your view of “The Crucible.” However, even though you say he delves into excessive amounts of information, I wish there was a bit more. When I am reading a play, I often try to develop very detailed mental pictures and therefore wish there were details given, such as how the characters were meant to appear.

  47. In the very beginning of the book, Holden says he is talking about “stuff that happened to me around last Christmas just before I got pretty run-down and had to come out here and take it easy” (Salinger 1). He also talks about how his brother will be coming to pick him up from “this crumby place.” Is Holden writing this whole story from a mental institution or asylum? He also says at the very end of the book that he is seeing a psychoanalyst. Does Holden actually have a mental disorder or just a very weird personality? If he does have a disorder, what would it be? To me is just seemed that he is having a very difficult time adapting to becoming older and probably having his brother die and witnessing the death of a classmate. He is just not a social person.

  48. In the Novel the Catcher in the Rye, Holden only has good memories about Allie and Phoebe. A good example is that Holden has the poems that Allie wrote on his baseball glove to remind himself of Allie’s innocence as an adult, and because of the good memories he has left.

  49. In response to Rachel #30
    I actually did enjoy reading The Catcher in the Rye. The narrative gave a new perspective of the world from the point of view of someone other than ourselves. I found it very interesting. Even though the book is all about a spoiled kid that complains about everything in his world, it shows how Holden actually sees the world and that made the book easy to continue reading for me even though there was really no plot at all!

  50. Okay i was doing some research on the red scare so i could sound all smart on here, seeing as the crucible was written due to the red scare, but i started thinking about which characters matched up with the main people of the red scare. Abigail is obviously Senator Joseph McCarthy because she was the ring leader in accusing the citizens of Salem. One could argue Judge Danforth is modeled after the Senator but Abigail makes the most sense to me. But anyway, Abigail was one of the girls who were dancing and committing witchcraft in the first place. I think Arther Miller was suggesting that Senator McCarthy actually had a part in the communist presence in America. The citizens of the United States probably didn’t think too highly of the Senator, so it would make sense if the author wanted make a joke about him or make him look bad.

  51. In the Crucible religion plays such a huge part because that was the time. The situation would never have occurred in the first place had religion not been a major component. Its kind of like saying “well if communism hadn’t played such a big role in the Cold War…” the Cold War wouldn’t have been an issue. We can’t take religion out of this picture, they are one and the same.

  52. In Catcher In The Rye, Holden takes his little sister Phoebe to the carousel and let’s her ride it a number if times. There is also what appears to be a carousel horse on the cover of the book itself. Could it be that the carousel has some metaphorical significance to holdens life or the story as a whole? Or is it just some random fact thrown in for good measure, because if you’ve read the book, you know Holden has a preeetty random tale.
    (Arianne holmberg, period 6)

    • This is actually a really good point! I think that the author might have put this in there to make a point. I reasearched it a little because I couldn’t come up with anything at all but still felt this was a good point. Holden can be really random but the Carousel was made a point of I couldn’t find anything so I did some research and somebody had said that the quote “The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to to let them do it. If they fall off, they fall off…” was sort of like he was implying more than just them falling off but why they would try for something that you can’t always get. Also about how you have to let them do it because even though you don’t want to you still have to let them do your own thing. But Im really not for sure, I just think this is an important part of the book that a lot of people looked over.

  53. At first The Catcher in the Rye seemed like it might be enjoyable when I first started reading it. I was waiting for the plot to start (much like Rachel) but then I realized I was almost done with the book and I never really found one. I know now that we mostly read it because of the different view point of the novel, but this type of writing wasn’t very enjoyable to read. It was confusing because the character doesn’t think how I think. He especially doesn’t act how I do. But it was an interesting way to get in the head of somebody who I assume has some form of a dissability. Its also interesting how another writer can assume the feelings of somebody in his situation and then immitate them. Although the book wasn’t something I would have decided to read on my own it wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever had to read.

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