American Literature

Directions: You must respond to two of the following four prompts. The two you write about will be randomly assigned to you on the day of the final. In a well-organized essay, fully and carefully respond to each essay question. Make sure to include a thesis statement. All thesis statements must contain an argument.
Argument: a reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong.

1. #1 Discuss the symbolism of the catcher in the rye. Why does Holden want to be the catcher in the rye? What are the positive and negative aspects of his fantasy? Additionally, does Holden learn anything by the end of the novel? In other words, does he remain a static character or become a dynamic one? Feel free to discuss any other symbols in the novel that pertain to the theme.
2. #2 Think about Holden’s vision of the nature of childhood and adulthood. What is his view of this? Are the two realms as separate as Holden believes them to be? Where does he fit in?
3. #3 Compare and Contrast Fahrenheit 451 with “The Truman Show”. In doing so, also explore the common themes in these two works. What social commentary are they both making? How do both the similarities and the differences serve to communicate this message?
4. #4 Discuss the meaning behind the titles of the three parts of Fahrenheit 451 and explain how they are relevant to the story. Explain the meaning and symbolism of each title and relate that to the themes that the novel presents. Feel free to discuss any symbols in the novel and how they pertain to the major themes.