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Banning Catcher in the Rye Essay

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger should not be banned in schools based solely on the fact that it is a controversial book that uses harsh language and sexual references. This book is J. D. Salinger’s freedom of speech, and it is a violation of the first amendment for schools to ban this book. This book is only offering an inside look into what teenagers go through in some point of their lives.

According to the Los Angeles Times, The Catcher in the Rye’s, “… profanity and sexual references drew scandalized reactions…” (Rotella 18). Although this book has many sexual references, it is not in any way as explicit and as bad as what teenagers see and hear nowadays on television and in the world. Holden occasionally thinks and talks about sex: “Most guys at Pencey talked about having sexual intercourse with girls all the time. ” (Salinger 48).

The average teenager often thinks and talks about sex. It is not unusual for teenagers to do this. The profanity in this book is also not as bad as it may seem. Patty Salazar, a concerned mother and religious activist, claims that, “‘It uses the Lord’s name in vain 200 times’” (Rotella 17), but the curse words used in The Catcher in the Rye are nothing that teenagers have not heard before in their everyday lives. Banning The Catcher in the Rye in school is not acceptable.

It is a violation of the first amendment, and it is nothing far from what teenagers encounter everyday. This book gives teenagers someone in literature that they are able to relate to in one way or another. The Catcher in the Rye is not a book that will corrupt young readers. The underlying theme of this book is loss of innocence. This loss occurs when a teenager makes the change to adulthood where he or she is obscured by phoniness. By banning this book from schools, the only thing that teenagers would be sheltered from is reality.


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