American Library Association Vs. Salinger 's ' The Catcher 's The Rye '

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J.D. Salinger’s, The Catcher in the Rye, holds the honor of appearing on “Time” magazine’s 2010 list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923 (Lacayo). In contrast, the American Library Association (ALA) notes that the novel also holds the dubious honor of being the tenth most challenged book in the United States from 1990 to 1999. In 2001, 2005, and 2009 the book again made the ALA top ten most frequently challenged book list (Banned and Challenged Books). In the light of this history, the question arises as to what makes The Catcher in the Rye so divisive? Ever since the novel first appeared in 1951, it has been challenged by critics who advocate removing it from high school curriculums. These opponents of the novel fear the profanity and perceived immorality of the central character, Holden Caulfield, will corrupt young adults. However, these harsh critics fail to recognize that The Catcher in the Rye offers young adults profound moral lessons penned with real-world words they can identify with, and no person should be denied the right to read those words. Salinger’s protagonist, Holden Caulfied, narrates his adventure with words that express all the angst, anger, and unpredictability of a typical seventeen-year-old. In his rants against society and phonies, Holden freely swears his way through his story. The profanities that flow from Holden’s mouth are the everyday words often spoken by a young adult coming of age. As a result, his

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