Catcher In The Rye
Kate Regganie, Allie Mascenic
The Catcher in the Rye influenced society in the 1950s by letting teens think it’s acceptable to live rebelliously and angering adults making them more constrictive
1. What lasting influence has The Catcher in the Rye had on American culture?
A lasting influence that the book has had on American culture is definitely all teens having to remember to accept change and responsibility in their lives as adolescents.
2. What other examples of the "Holden" archetype have you seen in modern media?
Holden behaves much like an adult would in the book, and that is how most teens are trying to act now. Drinking alcohol and smoking for example. Most teens now a days participate in that,
3. What trends do you see in the types of people who are drawn to the novel? Why could this be?
The people who have a hard time connecting with people read this novel because they can connect to Holden and the struggles he faces socializes.
4. 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?
It has so many themes that the moral of it never changes. Everyone can find a theme in it to connect to. I don’t think it deserves this role because there are so many other books out there to connect to that aren't banned in most schools and are more recent.
5. How are a presidential attempted assassination and the murder of John Lennon associated to Catcher in the Rye?
The attempted assassin of Reagan and Chapmen both had copies of the book with them. Their reasons were said to have been in the book, phoniness.
6. Why and how does Catcher fit into the banned book classification?
Attempts have been made to ban this coming of age story since1960. These attempts were made based on obscene language and situations, excessive vulgar language, and sexual scenes. This book is still challenged and sometimes banned today for these reasons. Its considered a naughty book and banned in most catholic high schools
7. Have perceptions of the novel changed throughout time? If so, how?
The perceptions have changed because in this modern day, it is more known to see teens smoking and drinking and posting it on social media for more people to see. Back when the book was published, teens didn't do it as much or kept it more secret from the world. Back then, when a teen was caught smoking it was looked down upon more so then if a teen was caught today.
8. What were some of the reviews on Catcher when the novel first appeared in bookstores? Why did people feel this way about the novel?
Many parents were enraged with the way Holden behaved because they believed their children would start to act that way. Even to this day, some parents want the book banned. Teens aren't shouldn't act this way so parents didn't want a book promoting that type of behavior.
9. Why do readers and critics feel so much animosity towards Salinger’s characters?
His characters are said to be portrayed as whiny and unstable. The book is highly regarded now but that came with time and controversies.
In chapter 8 on page 57 Holden asked Mrs. Morrow if she wanted to go for drinks and when she questioned his age; his response was that he could get them on account to his height. This demonstrates how Holden doesn’t care about laws and what adults have to say. This influenced other teens to bypass laws and adult authority because they felt above everyone else.
In chapter 14 on page 100, Holden is in his hotel room the morning after the prostitute stopped by the night before. In the part we chose, it was when he said, “I kept picturing old Sunny calling me a crumb-bum. Finally, I sat up in bed and smoked another cigarette. It tasted lousy. I must’ve smoked around two packs since I left Pencey.” In this quote, he is talking about a prostitute and smoking which normal teens don’t normally do on a regular basis. This influenced America because most teens that read this thought it was okay to smoke cigarettes that much on a day to day basis. Also, hook up with a prostitute ehich even grown-ups normally don’t do.
In chapter 13 on page 91, Holden is in the elevator when the elevator operator, Maurice, asks Holden if he would like to hook up with a prostitute. He wasn’t even very concerned on how old Holden was, he just wanted to make money. This had a big influence on America because it worried parents that grown-ups actually did this. They didn’t want their children actually hooking up with a prostitute, and an older person not even stopping it. Older adults are supposed to stop those kind of things from happening, not being the cause of it.
One of the influences the Catcher in the Rye had on society was shootings. In one case, John Lennon’s murderer, Mark David Chapman, described himself just like Holden Caulfield and even carried the book with him when he shot Lennon. After he killed Lennon, he sat down and read the book until the police took him to jail. This book made him realize how close he felt to Holden and decided he needed to do something about it.
Another influence the Catcher in the Rye had on society was censorship. Especially parents, in that time era thought the book was going to influence their children in the wrong way and wanted the book to be banned. From 1961-1982, the book was temporarily banned.
The last influence The Catcher in the Rye had on society is controversy. Many teachers and adults made a lot of time deciding if the book was safe for the youth world. They didn’t like most of the swearing and the sexual context in the novel. Now in this generation, we might be used to more of this type of context but back in the 50’s when the book came out, it barely was shown.
Quiz -true or false
1. The attempted assassins said their reasoning from the book was rebellion
2. The book is still banned in some schools
3. There were few controversies involving the book
4. People who struggle socializing connect well to Holden
5. To this day, parents want the book banned
6. The idea, or perception, of the book has remained the same through out its time
7. The book was highly regarded when it was first released to book stores
8. The book has themes that everyone can connect with
9. The book had a lasting effect on teens taking responsibility
10. Holden acted much like a kid in the book
Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown, 1951. Print.
"Catcher In The Rye-Impact and Influence." Eng4ufraser. Web. April 2nd 2014. <https://eng4u-fraser.wikispaces.com/Catcher+In+The+Rye+-+Impact+and+Influence>
1. False, phoniness
3. False, hundreds
6. False, dramatically changed
7. false, parents wanted it banned
10. False, an adult