Thursday, May 27, 2010

Project Proposal: The Road

One of your main objectives in reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road is to gather quotes that will help you come to some form of conclusion regarding the following issues and/or themes of the book:

1. Record the usage of religious language by the characters and/or narrators. You should be using these quotes to come to some conclusion regarding the presence of religion in this post-apocolyptic world as well as the characters' attitude toward religion.

2. What does McCarthy have to say about civilization? What about nature? How is organism working alongside mechanism? When are the two at odds? Further, how can we apply the Apollonian and Dionysian conflict to this aspect of the novel?

3. Using what you know of Conrad’s use of light and dark imagery in Heart of Darkness, study the use of fire and/or light in McCarthy. What does fire or light represent in The Road? How is this similar or different from Conrad’s use of light?

4. POV. Who is speaking as the narrator, and when? What seems to be their outlook on the cataclysm? How is their perspective influenced by dreams? Reality? When does the narrative switch between characters? Why does McCarthy switch narrators?

Quote Journals will be due each Friday and will be graded for completion

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Some Journaling Ideas for Catcher in the Rye

Here's some ideas for the novel. These work well as bellwork.

18 Years Old

1. “Our society encourages children to grow up too quickly.” Give some specific examples why you agree or disagree with this statement.

2. The State of Ohio recognizes you as a legal adult on your 18th birthday. Do you think this is a valid measurement of adulthood? Why or why not.


1. What makes you feel depressed? What do you do about it?

2. Agree or disagree: people can overcome their own problems. Why or why not?

Boy/Girl Friend

1. Define your concept of an “ideal” girlfriend or boyfriend?*
(Ideal- sounds like “idea,” is an idea or concept in absolute perfection)

Agree or Disagree—Establishing a mature relationship with the opposite sex is difficult.

Nothing Gold Can Stay
By Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower,
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief.
So dawn goes down today.
Nothing gold can stay.

1. In one sentence, as simply as possible, tell what you think this poem is about.

2. How does this poem relate to The Catcher in the Rye?


Holden explains what he likes about Phoebe in Chapter 10.
For this journal, you will explain what you like about the friend or relative you feel closest to.


It seems that Holden’s relationship with Mr. Spencer is one balanced by an equal amount of pity and respect. What qualities must an adult possess in order to gain your respect? Give an example of someone you know who possesses these qualities.


We know Holden does not like movies because he tells us, however, he never mentions television.

1. If you were to hand Holden a copy of this week’s TV Guide, which shows do you think he would express interest in? Why?

2. What modern television shows do you think Holden would never watch, even if you paid him? Why?


1. A) Girls, would you date Holden? Why or why not?
B) Guys, would you befriend Holden? Why or why not?

Like Stuff

Make a list of things Holden doesn’t like at this point in your reading. Holden usually comes out and says what he doesn’t like, so there’s no need to “read between the lines.” For example, he says, “If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the movies. Don’t even mention them to me,” on page 2.

1. Oftentimes in the novel, Holden uses the word “Phony” to describe the things he doesn’t like. What do you think he means by “Phony.”

2. Make a list of things YOU think are phony in our society. Try to have a reason for listing what you do.


1.If Holden were alive today, would he walk around with iPod earbuds in his ears? Why or Why not?

2.Regardless of how you answer #1, what kind of music would Holden NEVER listen to, even if you paid him? Why?


1. If Holden went to this school, what kind of label might he have? Why do you think this?

2. In which class might he succeed? Why do you think this?


“The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.”

Examples of people who have died nobly?
Examples of people who have lived humbly?
What’s the difference?