Catcher In The Rye By J. D. Salinger: An Analysis

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Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words in books can kill. The influence of literature is overlooked when it comes to violence. Movies and video games are usually blamed for this type of aggressiveness, but rarely does one point their finger towards a compilation of words on paper. It is forgotten that books hold an incredible power over the mind. Whether it is the power of imagination, the key to new thoughts and ideas, or the development of new emotions, reading can change a person. While literature doesn’t always transform a person radically, violent passages in books can lead to aggressive acts in real life. The type of violence found in books and committed by criminals can be defined as anything which causes harm, such as hostile…show more content…
J.D Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye tells the tale of Holden Caufield, a young boy who feels estranged in society. And no stranger to that feeling was a man named Mark David Chapman. Chapman felt a connection between Holden and himself after having read the novel. They both had the same hatred towards fake people in life. This resentment of phonies is what led Chapman to kill John Lennon on the 8th of December, 1980. To begin with, Chapman had a very unhappy childhood. Besides being the constant target of bullies, his parents’ anger towards one another infringed upon his childhood development (Mark David Chapman, n.d., para.49). “He lived in dread of his father, who would beat his mother”, and dreamt of killing him (Mark David Chapman, n.d., para.3). The reading of Salinger’s book brought a new light into his life. It’s “polemic against ‘phoniness’ in society” was particularly influential (Mark David Chapman, n.d., para.53). Chapman proclaimed that he was a version of Holden (Gaines, 1987, para.9). Being the Catcher in the Rye of his generation, he was going to protect the young and clear the world of these so-called phonies. Chapman said that the book explained his motives for the murdering of John Lennon (Gaines, 1987, para.3), a man who he thought of as a

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