Controversy of Catcher in the Rye

Topics: The Catcher in the Rye, Mark David Chapman, John Lennon Pages: 2 (448 words) Published: September 28, 2011
In 1960 a teacher was fired for assigning the novel in class; he was later reinstated.[27][dead link] Between 1961 and 1982, The Catcher in the Rye was the most censored book in high schools and libraries in the United States.[28] In 1981 it was both the most censored book and the second most taught book in public schools in the United States.[29] According to the American Library Association, The Catcher in the Rye was the tenth most frequently challenged book from 1990–1999.[10] It was one of the ten most challenged books of 2005[30] and although it had been off the list for three years, it reappeared in the list of most challenged books of 2009.[31] The challenges generally begin with Holden's frequent use of vulgar language[32],[33] with other reasons including sexual references,[34] blasphemy, undermining of family values[33] and moral codes,[35] Holden's being a poor role model,[36] encouragement of rebellion,[37] and promotion of drinking, smoking, lying, and promiscuity.[35] Often the challengers have been unfamiliar with the plot itself.[28] Shelley Keller-Gage, a high school teacher who faced objections after assigning the novel in her class, noted that the challengers "are being just like Holden... They are trying to be catchers in the rye."[33] A reverse effect has been that this incident caused people to put themselves on the waiting list to borrow the novel, when there were none before.[38] Mark David Chapman's shooting of John Lennon (Chapman was arrested with his worn copy of the book, and inside, he had scribbled a note: This is my statement, From Holden Caulfield.), Robert John Bardo's shooting of Rebecca Schaeffer, and John Hinckley, Jr.'s assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan have also been associated with the novel.[39][40] In 2009 Salinger successfully sued to stop the U.S. publication of a novel that presents Holden Caulfield as an old man.[25][41] The novel's author, Fredrik Colting, commented, "call me an ignorant Swede, but the last...
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