Catcher In The Rye Thesis

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The year is 1980; John Lennon, founder and lead singer of The Beatles has been shot, and the only explanation provided by his assassin, Mark David Chapman, is a copy of The Catcher in the Rye. This event alone was grounds enough for many parents to try and ban the book, concerned it would inspire their children to act out as Chapman had. Today, nearly 67 years since its original publication and 38 years since Lennon’s death, the novel has been challenged countless times, with many articles listing the neverending list of reasons why this book is not suitable for teenagers to read. However, due to novel’s unique view of the world, insight into the mind of a troubled teen, and dialogue that allows the reader to live vicariously through the protagonist,…show more content…
Unlike in other books geared towards teens, this book focuses more on the materialistic nature of other people in Holden’s city, rather than focusing on trivial topics such as high school and friendship. An example of this can be found on pages 145 and 146 when Holden tells Sally, the girl he is going out with, that a boys’ school is “full of phonies, and all you do is study so that you can learn enough to be smart enough to be able to buy a goddam Cadillac some day, and you have to keep making believe you give a damn if the football team loses, and all you do is talk about girls and liquor and sex all day, and everybody sticks together in these dirty little goddam cliques” (Salinger). This point in the novel is a prime example of Holden being frustrated with peoples’ materialistic necessities, which is a point of view that is not often expressed in pieces of literature. Many books show the opposing view to that of which Salinger shows through Holden. As negative as it may be, it is often necessary to see the world in a bleak lighting to observe the full scope that is human nature through the eyes of a

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