The Catcher in the Rye

Deja, Nancy, Martionna, Kaprielle

Catcher's Influence

Throughout our research we found that The Catcher in the Rye has influenced many things. It has influenced other movies, written work, and opinions on banned books. We found that it has had such an influence on American Culture because in the 50s, when it was written, it took real life problems and put it into a story using Holden Caufield.



What lasting influence has The Catcher in the Rye had on American culture?

The most well known influence the Catcher in the Rye has had is Mark David Chapman's shooting of John Lennon. The Catcher in the Rye has also influenced many characters in movies to be based on Holden Caufield. For example in the movie "Rushmore," the character Max Fischer held the same characteristics and interests as Holden.

What other examples of the "Holden" archetype have you seen in modern media?

Other examples of Holden in modern media is in the movie "Tropic Thunder," it had the song "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", which is the same song that Holden listens to in the book. Another example is in Coming Through the Rye by John David California, which is considered a sequel of The Catcher in the Rye because Holden is 76 years old and escapes a retirement home to go on a journey in New York.

What trends do you see in the types of people who are drawn to the novel? Why could this be?

The trends in the type of people I noticed that are drawn to the novel are writers. They are all a variety of authors of books, newspaper writers, and movie writers. They are drawn to it because it gives them more ideas of what to base their books, articles, and movies about. Also, many teenagers are drawn to the novel because they can relate to how Holden feels at times. Teenagers are also more interested in reading about sex and explicit content more than some adults.

Why do you think The Catcher in the Rye is so constantly referenced? Why does it hold such a central role in our culture? Is this role deserved?

I think it is referenced because it was such a popular book, then it was banned and the author went silent. That made more people want to look into the book to see for themselves why the book was banned and what made J.D. Salinger become standoffish from the world. It holds a central role in our culture because when John Lennon was killed The Catcher in the Rye was connected back to reasons why David Chapman killed him. Along with that, the book has inspired many movie plots and the characters of those movies.

How are a presidential attempted assassination and the murder of John Lennon associated to Catcher in the Rye?

The presidential attempted assassination and murder of John Lennon is associated to The Catcher in the Rye because John Hinckley Jr., the person that tried to kill Regan, had The Catcher in the Rye in his hotel room. Along with that, Mark David Chapman, the man that killed John Lennon, was caught reading the book right after killing him.

Why and how does Catcher fit into the banned book classification?

Catcher fits into the banned book classification because of its bad language, extreme situations, and sexual scenes. Also because many attempts have been made to ban the book since 1960. The Catcher in the Rye is still facing those problems today because many adults become outraged from the profanity and sexual references in the book.

Have perceptions of the novel changed throughout time? If so, how?

The perceptions of the novel hasn't really changed because when discussing the story it still causes controversy and debate. There are many people that still are against the book because of the negativity it displays when it comes to language and rejection of American culture. On the other hand, there are still people that believe there is nothing wrong with the book which is why it still remains the best seller.

What were some of the reviews on Catcher when the novel first appeared in bookstores? Why did people feel this way about the novel?

Some of the reviews on the novel when it first appeared in the bookstores were that he was good at writing about kids and that Holden's character reflected problems with the youth back then. Also, some critics thought that the book gets too long causing it to become boring and repetitive. Many people believed it was an enlightening book, but was also depressing. They felt that way about the novel because of the things Holden went through with his nervous breakdowns, feelings of loneliness, and unexpected behavior. Another reason they felt that way is because at times Salinger spent too much time discussing how bad Holden's school and some of the characters were instead of positive things.

Why do readers and critics feel so much animosity towards Salinger’s characters?

Readers and critics feel so much animosity towards Salinger's characters because of their attitudes and personalities. For instance Holden was set off to be a self-centered character because he rarely discussed others.

Textual Evidence

Catcher's influence relates back to The Catcher in the Rye when it discusses sexual activity such as buying a prostitute because that is one of the reasons it caused controversy with schools.

"Anyway, I kept walking around the room, waiting for this prostitute to show up." (pg. 93)

It also influences teenagers opinions on adults such as phoniness.

"That killed me. I just see the big phony bastard shifting into first gear and asking Jesus to send him a few more stiffs." (pg. 17)

It can also influence confusion about who they really are just like Holden had throughout the book.

First he says "In my mind, I'm probably the biggest sex maniac you ever saw." (pg. 62)

Then he says "Sex is something I really don't understand too hot." (pg. 63)

Catcher's Influence Quiz

1.) Who killed the John Lennon the night of December 8, 1980 coming from the recording studio with his wife on their way home?

a. Mark David Chapman

b. Photographer Annie Leibovitz

c. Wife Yoko Ono

2.) What song was referenced previously before that Holden listens to?

a. "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes"

b. "Working Class Hero"

c. "Give Peace a Chance"

3.) What is an example of what kind of crowd is drawn to this type of novel?

a. Musicians, Internet Bloggers, Teachers

b. authors of books, newspaper writers, and movie writers

c. Actors, Painters, Book Clubs

4.) What does the pictures shown in the smore demonstrate?

a. how serious The Catcher in the Rye being a banned book was

b. nothing

c. the connection between the killing of John Lennon & The Catcher in the Rye

d. A and C

5.) Why wasn't the book “The Catcher in the Rye" in the allowed in public schools?

a. It was very convincing to for teens to become rebellious.

b. It influenced most of the world to do crazy things.

c. Because of the sex references, bad language, and extreme situations.

6.) A failed assassination was attempted on which president?

a. George Bush

b. Ronald Regan

c. Abraham Lincoln

7.) Which character was said to be self-centered?

a. JD Salinger

b. Holden Caufield

c. Ackley

8.) Why was "The Catcher in the Rye" connected back to the killing of John Lennon?

9.) Why did some reviewers believe the book was depressing at times?

10.) Why did Chapman recommend people read "The Catcher in the Rye?"

Random Fact


Quiz Answers

1.) A

2.) A

3.) B

4.) D

5.) C

6.) B

7.) B

8.) Because Mark David Chapman was found reading the book right after killing him.

9.) because of the things Holden went through with his nervous breakdowns, feelings of loneliness, and unexpected behavior. Also because at times Salinger spent too much time discussing how the bad things in Holden's life instead of the positive.

10.) Chapman wrote in his letter that to understand what he did and why, people would have to read the book.