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Catch In The Rye

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The Catcher In The Rye

"While I haven't read the entire book I have read enough to know it is immoral and cannot be taught in our schools."

Reverend Seabrook

- Florida School Board

The story of The Catcher In The Rye, can and is misinterpreted by many people. It is very easy to find The Catcher In The Rye immoral if you are reading the book only to prove that idea. This is so because you can ignore the good things and ideas the author is trying to convey by using certain incidents that might be labeled wrong. On the other hand, if you are reading the book and taking that extra step to analyze the things that Holden Caulfield does and the things that happens to him you end up having a greater appreciation for the novel and what it says.

Throughout the book Holden has shown that he is a boy who in reality has a conscience and uses it. One example of this is when Holden goes to see Mr. Spencer, his former history teacher. Holden goes to visit Mr. Spencer, who is ill with the grippe. He goes to tell him not to feel bad for failing him in history. Holden did not have to do this; this was an act of courtesy because he knew that Mr. Spencer felt sorry that he had flunked Holden in his class. Holden also sits through Mr. Spencer's lecture on how life is a game, a game that one must play according to the rules. Holden who absolutely hates talks like this, did not have to sit through it, he could have gotten up and left, but he didn't he showed respect for one of his superiors and what he had to say. I believe this is an act that every child and adult should know and do.

"I am the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life."


Holden Caulfield is a good liar. Holden even admits to it. Many people might say that this is setting a bad example but throughout story his lies make people feel better. For example, when Holden was on the train to New York a lady came on and sat next to him. This lady happened to be the mother of a kid that was in Holden's class. His name was Ernest Morrow. Holden tells us that he thinks Ernest is "the biggest bastard that ever went to Penecy". However, he started telling Mrs. Morrow how Ernest was one of the most popular boys at Penecy, how funny he was, and how everyone wanted Ernie to be class president, but Ernie wouldn't let anyone nominate him. Holden had no obligation to rave about Ernest. He could have told Mrs. Morrow the truth about how her son acts, and what people think about him. Instead he sheltered her from the truth, and helped her to stop stressing and worrying about how her Ernest was doing socially with the other boys.

Another incident in the book that could easily be misapprehended is the prostitute scene. When you think of a prostitute you think immoral, and inappropriate. When Holden orders for the prostitute to be sent to him he just doesn't think of her as a person. But, when he sees her in her green dress, he pictures her buying the dress and how the people at the store didn't know that she was a prostitute and he empathized with her. After he thinks about her and feels for her he can't have



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