Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Catcher in the Rye

Truth be told, I'll be a bit relieved to finish reading The Catcher in the Rye, because it is hard to read about someone else's anguish, although it's written in a sardonic manner and the brilliance of the writer is evident. According to Wikipedia, this book has been linked to the man who assassinated John Lennon, Mark David Chapman, who was carrying the book when he was arrested after the murder, and referred to it in his statement. John Hinckley, Jr., who attempted to assassinate President Reagan in 1981, was supposedly obsessed with this book. However, the book has sold over 65 million copies, so a few crimes "linked" to it do not mean that it should be banned. It just happens to be a popular book, assigned in many in high schools and colleges as required reading and therefore read by many over the years. The censorship it received only helped to popularize it, most likely. It does not advocate drinking and smoking or other "depraved" behaviors; if anything, Holden's "downward spiral" tells us not to follow his path.

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