Sunday, November 22, 2009

Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger

Speaking of banned classics, I have a (hard) copy of Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Truth is, I never thought much of this book. I read this when I was already in law school, and seeing as how I've encountered plenty of controversial pieces of literature in the past, this was something mild. Not that I think bad of it.


I could've taken my own photo of the book cover, but I was lazy :P

I found it cute how the blogger who wrote the article on the banned classics depicted this novel:

Plot: A teenage boy, Holden Caulfield, runs away to New York after being expelled from reform school. The book is a first person narrative and over the course of the story, you learn about his brother’s passing and how that has affected his present state of mind. Throughout his adventure, he drinks, smokes, hits on adult women, gets beaten up by a pimp, is hit on by a past teacher and deals with many other activities that a teen shouldn’t be going through. He constantly complains about other people his age, calling them “phony” or stupid. The novel explores Holden’s psychological need to grow up after his brother’s death. It also does an excellent job depicting his desire to protect young children from becoming adults.

Where it’s been banned: In 1960, a teacher was fired from her job for requiring her eleventh grade class to read the book. Between 1961 and 1962, it was the most censored book in high schools and colleges. This novel has been banned in schools throughout America for being anti-white, blasphemous, profane, racist and overtly sexual. How anything can be racist and anti-white, I don’t know.

Update: I meant this statement as how the book can be racist against both blacks and whites at the same time, which is what the people condemning the book seemed to imply. Personally, I don’t think you can be racist against your self and persons of other races at the same time, I think it makes you more of a person hater than a racist. Although I’m sure many readers would still like to disagree with this.

Completely unrelated but interesting: many murderers read Catcher In The Rye shortly before committing their crimes.

Posted by Jill Harness in Book & Lit, Neatorama Only, Politics on February 16, 2009 at 2:31 am

Lol! I agree with her on the person-hater part. =)