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Censorship of The Catcher in the Rye Essay


To whom ever it may concern,

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger has been a very controversial book. It was published back in 1951 and since then it has been censored and uncensored many times. Between 1961 and 982, The Catcher in the Rye was the most censored book in high schools and libraries in the United States, ( Online Magazine and Writers' Network). What people do not seem to understand is that in this country, people are granted the Freedom of Speech. In other words, authors have the right to write about whatever they choose. No one should have the right to decide whether or not what an author has published is good or bad. Parents of high school students were afraid that the book would go against their family values and morals. They thought their children would try to act out because of this novel. Instead the novel could bring benefit. It could teach students about everyday issues like depression. Many things can trigger debilitating depression, ( Home).

Censorship is the suppression of speech or deletion of communicative material which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the government or media organizations as determined by a censor, (Google). The novel The Catcher in the Rye has been censored many times before. Between 1961 and 982, The Catcher in the Rye was the most censored book in high schools and libraries in the United States, ( Online Magazine and Writers' Network) and that is exactly thanks to its use of profane language, blasphemy, undermining of family values and moral codes (The Banning of the Catcher in the Rye) . Parents believed that this novel was not good to be taught in school and wanted it to be extinguished from school curriculum. A parent once declared the book Communist (Attempted Censorship: The Catcher in the Rye). Thats how bad parents viewed this novel. Todays parents should be more open-minded, they should be able to accept a novel that is a bit profane and vulgar. Their children watch worse shows than the content of this novel. Todays time and age is well advanced and parents should expect anything from everyone. They need to understand that school curriculum.

The First Amendment; the Freedom of Speech, states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (First Amendment) The Catcher in the Rye should not be removed from the English class curriculum. Theres no need to that. Its true that in America, parents and the government have the right to censor what they believe is not correct, but this novel is not bad. No, instead it is good. Parents should look past the language and sexual situations, the book teaches students about life. In the past parents have only focused on those two things as main reasons as to why censor The Catcher in the Rye, but there is more to this novel than just that.

This novel teaches students about everyday situations. These situations however may not go along with the students everyday life, but it can very much be about someone in the real world. The main character, Holden, is a very depressed boy. He battles with the thought of thinking everyone is a phony and trusts no one other than his little sister Phoebe. The students learn that what started off Holdens depression was his younger brothers death and since depression is a big problem, students should be allowed to learn about it and learn to deal with it, should they ever be depressed. The Catcher in the Rye is a good book that teaches students signs of depression although they arent straight forward.

The themes of the novel go along with the no censoring. One theme of the novel was that one will always learn something from life.


" Depression Animation." Home. Web. 10 Dec. 2010. .

"Define:censorship - Google Search." Google. Web. 10 Dec. 2010. .


"First Amendment - Freedom Of Speech, Freedom Of The Press, Freedom Of Religion, Further Readings." First Amendment. Net Industries and Its Licensors. Web. .

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