The Morality of Reading The Catcher in the Rye in School Essay

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The Morality of Reading The Catcher in the Rye in School

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
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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 intercourse or use her any more. He makes up a reason for not being able to have sex with her, pays her off and then she leaves. This shows that Holden sees and treats people how they should be seen or treated.

Holden Caulfield, from what we know, doesn’t come from a religious family. However, we do know that he doesn’t

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