Catcher in the Rye
Uploaded by Admin on Mar 12, 1999
"There's far more to the censorship issue than a ban on sex and four-letter words. I sometimes think that those of us who need to be the most clearheaded about these matters are planting the very trees that obscure our view of the forest," says Dorothy Briley. According to Briley, a vast amount more is needed than simply vulgar language and suggestive material to censor a novel. But this is the very reason why J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye is frequently being banned from high schools. To the teenage readers, who are at the transition from childhood to adulthood, the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield, who has not quite reached the brink of manhood, becomes the reader's hero. The adolescent mind that Salinger portrays so accurately in his novel is one with which most teenagers and readers, at one time or another, could identify. The Catcher in the Rye also contains universal themes that, for teenagers about to shift into adulthood, help young adults better understand the world and other people. Although it does contain abusive language and sexual connotations, The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger should not be censored in high schools because it provides insightful information and relevance to the life of young adults through its realistic situations and themes of acceptance and materialism.
The reader can relate to the realistic situations, such as the scene at the Lunts play, present in the novel. Salinger portrays "real life while he "She saw some jerk she knew on the other side of the lobby. Some guy in one of those very dark gray flannel suits and one of those checkered vests. Strictly Ivy League. Big Deal...The worst part was, the jerk had one of those very phony, Ivy League voices, one of those very tired, snobby voices" (127, 128).
The theme of materialism also gives insight to the average teenage reader. Salinger uses clever mockery to illustrate to the reader how inane teenagers act over materialistic objects. This is particularly evident when Holden elaborates about suitcases:
The thing is, it's really hard to be roommates with people if your suitcases are much better than theirs - if yours are really good ones and theirs aren't. You think if they're intelligent and all, the other person, and have a good sense of humor, that they don't give a damn whose...