What are some reasons for banning the novel "The Catcher in the Rye"?


Quick Answer

Schools in the United States often ban "The Catcher in the Rye" due to its profanity, blasphemy, violence, and sexual and alcohol references. The American Library Association lists the novel at number 19 of the 100 top most-banned and challenged books in the country between 2000 to 2009.

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Full Answer

The most famous case against the book occurred in 1960. After parents complained, a school in Tulsa Oklahoma fired an English teacher for assigning the novel to an 11th-grade class. The teacher later won the court case, but "The Catcher in the Rye" remained off the school library shelves. Parents and others mainly object to the profanity contained in the book and the lifestyle of the book's main character, which they say promotes poor morals and values.

The book's detractors point to the murder of John Lennon when seeking to ban it from schools. Lennon's murderer, Mark Chapman, told the New York police that he was a big fan of "The Catcher in the Rye." Like the book's main character Holden, who believed that many people were phony, Chapman believed that Lennon was disingenuous and fake. By contrast, the book's supporters claim that "The Catcher in the Rye" is one of the greatest works of literature and coming of age novel of all time.

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