Porath's English 10

"Coming together, sharing together, working together, succeeding together." ~Unknown. Together, in this blog, students of English 10 will have the opportunity to share and extend their learning beyond the classroom walls.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

End of Catcher

Thank you students for your participation in this blog. The entries for The Catcher in the Rye are now closed for comments. You will receive your grades via email.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Would you be friends with Holden?

Holden is a character who has many odd traits. Which in my opinion makes him interesting to read about but I don’t think I could become close friends with him. He is just too negative about everything around him. I personally could not stand someone constantly complaining about this and that. How about you? Would you like to be friends with Holden? Do you already know someone who is pessimistic like Holden is?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Catcher in the Rye Ending

The ending to The Catcher in the Rye did not seem as extreme as the chapters leading up to it. Did you expect the ending to be more intense, or did you like how it was? Why?

Evaluation of the Story

How did you like the book? This is usually an easy question, as we tend to be guided by our emotions. For this entry, I'd like you to think more deeply about your response to the book.

Look at each of the following aspects of the book, give each a grade (A to F), and comment on why you believe it deserves that grade. Finally, write a conclusion that summarizes all the aspects and gives a recommendation on who should read the book and why.


  • Plot – Was it clear what was happening? Did you want to keep reading to see what would happen next? Why/why not?
  • Characters – Did they seem real to you? Why/why not?
  • Title – Was it appropriate? What does it say about the story?
  • Ending – Were you satisfied? Why/why not?
  • Themes – What lesson was the reader supposed to take away from the reading? What meaning did you find in the book?
  • Style – Did you like the way the book was written? (First person narrative, stream of consciousness) Was the use of swearing effective? Why did the author choose to use so many?

Writing to Mr. Salinger

At the beginning of the novel, Holden discusses the books he is reading. He makes this comment, “ What really knows me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote is was a terrific friend of your and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much though.”

Would you like to call J. D. Salinger? If you would, write a paragraph on what you would want to talk to him about and what you would say to or ask him. If not, write a paragraph about the reasons you would not want to talk to him. Be specific!

Phony People

In class, you discussed Sally and her young man in Chapter 17. As a small group, you wrote Holden's definition of phony. Now, write a two to three paragraph description of a phony that you know, have seen, or have read about. Create a pseudonym to protect the person's identity, but include specific examples that show the person's mannerisms, actions, how he/she speaks and interacts with others and what he/she looks like. What makes him/her a phony?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Only People Holden Likes

Although Holden is critical of much around him, he does recognize some positive aspects of people and life. There are three people in his life who Holden seems to like, or at least he has positive opinions about things they do/say. Today in class, you looked at the three people and found out what this tells the reader about what Holden believes about life. Please post your two paragraph essay that responds to this this question: What matters in life, according to Holden? Give specific reasons and examples to support your ideas.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Holden's Interactions in New York

From The Catcher in the Rye – Activity PackPrestwick House

In class, you discussed various interactions Holden had with other people. You had to explain the setting, the other characters, the reason for the interaction, what Holden was thinking, and what was important about the exchange. Now you need to view one of the interactions from the point of view of the other person(s) and re-write the scene.

Make sure you include the following:
  • Introduce the scene with the brief description from the handout
  • Write in first-person, from the view of the person Holden talked to
  • Use the “stream of consciousness” style that Holden uses, but in the voice of the other person
  • React to Holden – what does the person think and feel about him
  • It should be about 2-3 paragraphs long
  • Since this is on the web for the whole world to see, please bleep any swearing

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Excerpted from Catcher in the Rye Activity Pack from Prestwick House

In chapter 1, Holden has been expelled from the prep school, and he is trying to bring closure to his experience there. Holden tells the reader,

“What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of a good-bye. I mean I've left schools and places I didn't even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don't care if it's a sad goodbye or a bad good-bye, but when I leave a place I like to know I'm leaving it. If you don't, you feel even worse. (pg. 4)

Write about a time that you had to leave a place or bring closure to an experience. Include:

  • When
  • Where
  • Who was involved – their relation to you
  • Why you had to leave or end the experience
  • What you did to say good-bye
  • How things ended

Remember, this will be posted for other people to read, so don't use real names/places – use pseudonyms, and don't post anything you don't want others to read and comment on.

Make sure you write this in a document before posting and SAVE it. You will need to return to this story later.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Where Do All The Ducks Go?

I was in New York recently and I visited Central Park. The place is filled with small lakes, lagoons, and pounds. While I was there, there was about six inches of snow on the ground and all the bodies of water were frozen over. Holden refers to the ducks in these bodies of water in several chapters. He wonders where they go when the lakes freeze over. I actually saw ducks in a tiny part of the lake in Central park. By moving they seemed to keep that particular part from freezing over. I think they stay where they are while the lake isn't completely solid. However, like Holden said, what about when it is? Where do they go? What do you all think?

Art and The Catcher in the Rye

Suzanne Morine, a fan of the book, has created a site entitled “Exploring The Catcher in the Rye.” One of the pages she created shows fan art about the book. Please go to that site and look at the posted art. Choose one that you find interesting and comment about it. Make sure you include a description of the artwork and why you were drawn to that one. Also, think about what you would create as an original piece of art.

Catcher in the Rye Art Gallery

Monday, February 27, 2006

New York City Tour

Holden spends two days in New York, a city he knows well. Today, I'd like you to visit the modern versions of some of the places he visits. Look through the links I've provided and then write a short paragraph about the sites you saw and what you thought about them.

Radio City Music Hall - check out "The Music Hall - History" and "The Rockettes"

Central Park - Under "Attractions" check out The Carousel, The Children's Zoo, and Pond

American Museum of Natural History - click on "Plan your visit" then on "Permanent Exhibition" on the right of the screen

Rockefeller Center Ice Rink - watch the slide show of pictures

Grand Central Terminal - Take the Online tour

And to let you explore on your own, take the Virtual NYC Tour.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The 1950s

The Catcher in the Rye takes place during the 1950s. To help you visualize the time period, please visit this website – The 1950's – produced by Mrs. Sunda's class. Browse through the collection of information and follow something you are interested in. Tell us about the topic and what was interesting about it. You are welcome to include other links.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Ackley vs. Stradlater

I believe that Ackley would be a better roommate for Holden than Stradlater because I believe that Stradlater uses Holden in many ways. The only problem with Ackley is that he is dirty and annoying, those characteristics can be changed when he meets new people and starts to socialize. Stradlater just uses Holden for many things and is also a slob, but just doesn’t want people to know about it. What do you guys think about this? Do you think that Ackley would be a better roommate than Stradlater and why?

Monday, February 20, 2006


Holden Caufield hates hypocrisy – but what is hypocrisy? Read each of the following four quotations. Then, in a complete paragraph, define hypocrisy, using examples from your own life or the media. (Remember, do not use real names of people close to you, in school or in the community.)

Every man alone is sincere. At the entrance of a second person, hypocrisy begins. We parry and fend the approach of our fellow-man by compliments, by gossip, by amusements, by affairs. We cover up our thought from him under a hundred folds. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Friendship," Essays, 1841

Hypocrite: the man who murdered both his parents... pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan. ~Abraham Lincoln

The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity. ~André Gide

Most of us are aware of and pretend to detest the barefaced instances of that hypocrisy by which men deceive others, but few of us are upon our guard or see that more fatal hypocrisy by which we deceive and over-reach our own hearts. ~Laurence Sterne, 1760