Catcher's Influence

By: Monique, Angie, James

Catcher's Influence

The book "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger at one point was banned from high schools because it was a bad influence on kids. Now its recommended for high schoolers to read because of the influence it had on the 1950's slang and teenage life of Holden that adults like and teens can relate to, but also had influence on certain culture today.


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

1. “The Cather in the Rye” had influenced “Slang” because some of Holden's language he uses like moron, screw up and the profanity he used and a lot of kids use till this day. It influenced “Crime” because of Mark David Chapman, the assassin of John Lennon and how when he was arrested he had the book “The Cather in the Rye” in his hand where he explained that the book gave him many answers. Lastly had influenced certain “Film” because Salinger's character Holden Caulfield has inspired a slew of "disaffected teen" or "coming of age" movies, from 1955's Rebel without a cause through 2009's Adventure land.

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

2. In the Family Guy episode, “The Kiss Seen around the World,” a character follows Peter around, continuously calling him “a big fat phony.” During the credits, he was identified as Holden Caufield. In the movie The Shining, for example, "Wendy is seen reading the novel, a foreshadowing of alienation similar to that of Holden."

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

3. Trends are usually seen by people who experience feelings like Holden. They feel like outsiders, or they have a judgmental character. This could be because they feel like they could learn something from Holden that could help them with their own problems.

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

4. The Catcher in the Rye is constantly referenced because it still remains a best seller and teens can relate to what Holden says in the book. Many teens refer so much to the book because it explains what it is to be a teenager and what they go through. The fact that many teens can relate to what Holden is saying makes the book popular to society and teens.

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

5. The assassinations are linked with the book because Mark Chapman was obssesed with the book. He was Christian and took offense to Lennon's Atheism and saw him as a phony because he saw God as real and hoped to save children from Lennon's Godless ways.

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

6. The book was banned in schools 1966-1975 because of obscene language and situations, excessive vulgar language, and sexual scenes. It is still challanged and banned for those reasons. Parents also challenged it because they saw the book as a bad influence on their teens with smoking, drinking and dropping out of school.

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

7. Perceptions of the novel have not changed throughout time. Some people in the 40’s and 50’s liked that the book was banned because they thought it was “inappropriate”. However for several readers the book is amazing and connects with teenagers and remains as one of the best-selling books for teachers and students today.

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

8. Some of the first reviews of Salinger's Catcher in they rye were very critical of the fact that he used a lot of profanity and undermined traditional family morals, people felt this way because they weren't used to such an edgy and "real book". Not many of the reviews of the "Catcher in the Rye" are positive but the ones that are, are mid-eighties and 90's era understandings of the made for the 50's generation of teens.

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

9. Most of the animosity for Salinger's book comes from the fact this book was for the younger generation in the 50's and 60's and the fact that the book had profuse swearing in it.

Textual Evidence

Slang (Profanity)

"God damn it." He was sore as hell. He was really furious. "You always do everything backasswards." Quote is from Chapter 6 page 41, when Stradlater was upset with Holden for writing about Allie's baseball mit for Stradlater's paper. This had an influence on slang and profanity because of the words Holden says in the book teens repeat in society today.

Teen Rebellion

"Oh, how nice!" the lady said. But not corny. She was just nice and all. "I must tell Ernest we met," she said. "May I ask your name, dear?" "Rudolf Schmidt," I told her. I didn't feel like giving her my whole life history. Rudolf Schmidt was the name of the janitor of our dorm." She was all right. "Would you care for a cigarette?" I asked her. She looked all around. "I don't believe this a smoker, Rudolf," she said. Rudolf. That killed me." All the quotes were from chapter 8 pages 54 and 55, when Holden left Pencey and was on the trained having a conversation with Mrs. Morrow. This has an influence on teen rebellion because it shows teens that smoking and lying helped Holden deal with his problems which teens may adapt too.


"How old are you chief?" the elevator guy said. "Why?" I said. "Twenty-two" "Uh huh. Well, how bout it" Y'innarested? Five bucks a throw. Fifteen bucks the whole night." "Till noon. Five bucks a throw, fifteen bucks till noon." "Okay" I said. "Okay what? A throw or till noon? I gotta know." "Just a throw." This quotes is from chapter 13 page 91, its when Holden is in the elevator and talks to the doorman. The doorman asks Holden if he wants a prostitute and Holden says yes for a throw. This has an influence on Culture because it shows how culture in the 1950's is the same as the culture today having to do with prostitution.


1) Who killed John Lennon?

2) True or False - Catcher in the Rye had an influence on slang.

3) In what modern media TV show was Holden portrayed in?

4) True or False - Teen rebellion was the name of a picture we choose.

5) True or False - Teens were not drawn to the novel.

6) What character did Teens feel related to in the novel?

7) Does the Catcher in the Rye fit in the category of banned books?

8) Name one reason the book was banned from students.

9) Why was a critical fact in the review about the book?

10) True or False - The younger generation in the 50's were banned from the book?


1. Mark Chapman

2. True

3. Family Guy

4. True

5. False

6. Holden

7. Yes

8. Inappropriate, vulgar language, sexual scenes.

9. The book had a lot of profanity.

10. True