Should The Catcher In The Rye Be Banned

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J.D. Salinger’s popular novel The Catcher in the Rye is the story of Holden Caulfield, as he is expelled from Pencey Prep School and roams the streets of New York City, running into many different characters along the way, such as his violent roommate, a prostitute, and friends from his past. Despite the novel becoming very popular, it has sparked controversy as to whether or not its contents are age appropriate, specifically for high school students. Since its publication in 1951, high schools across the country have challenged and banned the book because of its violence, vulgar language, and sexually explicit content. I believe that The Catcher in the Rye should not be banned, because many of its controversial themes can be found in everyday life, and without these features, the book would not be able to portray a true representation of the era. According to the American Book…show more content…
For example, vulgar language is very apparent in today’s society. It can be found in TV programs, popular music, and is commonly spoken by the people around us. Popular music also contains many sexual references, whether or not they are direct statements or innuendos. In addition, the use of these themes helps to portray a true representation of the era. In the mid 1900s, there were many gender-based social norms, such as the stereotypical perfect family. Holden Caulfield was, according to Elizabeth Frank, who is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and professor of Modern Languages and Literature at Bard College, “a champion of bad words and cutting school and pointing out the dreariness and the hypocrisy of that era . . . us put a name to all those intuitions we had that something was terribly wrong with civilization in America at that time.” (“The Catcher in the Rye”) His rebellious actions went against this societal norm, and showed that authority figures aren’t
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