Yeah, I have heard that theory. I think that may have been part of it, however I also think there are a lot of scared ignorant people who just assume anything with cursing should be banned. I mean come on in the small town I live in they already tried to ban a couple of books because there was someone murdered. Ironically though on Sundays they are ok with their kids learning about Caine and Abel though, of course the Bible has been banned too. Anyways nothing against the Bible I just think people should reserve judgment
It's banned because so many murderers say they were inspired to commit murder after reading this book, Mark David Chapman, murderer of musician John Lennon, John Hinckley, Jr., who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, Lee Harvey Oswald who assassinated President Kennedy, Charles Manson, et.al.
You see, the weak, lazy mind is easily influenced by simple sensational emotions. It's easier to follow self-centered self-distructive emotions than to be logical and use considerate reason.
The selfish would rather feel themselves than anything else.
I've read this book twice, and frankly I don't recall any profanity in it. There's no sex either; an early scene has Holden having a call girl come to his hotel room and then just wanting to talk to her. He also says he's a virgin.
Usually people that want to ban a book haven't actually read it; they've just "heard about it." It does portray a deeply alienated protagonist who isn't convinced that traditional values have anything to offer. Holden is the classic "rebel without a cause"; he knows what he doesn't want, but has no clear idea what he does want. This was clearly upsetting to some people, and a few references to sex (without four-letter words or any actual sex) was enough to ruffle feathers.
Brave New World, on the other hand, is far more explicit about sex, and depicts an amoral future. It certainly doesn't present this as a good thing --- quite the reverse --- but again, even a whiff of sex, or frankness, or honesty, is enough to get the bluenoses up in arms.
I have a bit more sympathy for the people who find Huckleberry Finn unappealing, due to the frequent use of the N-word, but again, it's one of the finest anti-racism novels ever written, and well worth reading. To get a perspective on current social problems, it's important to remember how things used to be.
One thing I'd like to clarify. People often refer to a book as being "banned". But most often I see in news reports is that rather than some monolithic group banning this or other books, some small school district drops it from a required reading list. Is this the definition of "banning"? If all school systems allow students to read a book and to do book reports on it, and every bookstore in the country offers it, then why do we term the decision of a handful of school committees to not include it on a lower grade reading list as "banning the book"? Maybe we are talking about some slippery-slope situation here, but even as a huge fan of Salinger in my youth, I can't get too excited to rail against a small group of people who may think their community's school children don't need to read a specific book. On the other hand I would get very disturbed if the book were banned from being sold, or students were disallowed from doing book reports on it.
This is supposed to be a reply to CS Junker...I was banned the first time around.
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Let me try again. The constant use of "goddamn" might be labeled a profanity. The crowd noise at the football game (page 2) is described as "scrawny and f*ggy". But the most obvious "profanity" in the novel is the graffitti Holden sees on the wall at Phoebe's school - "blank you". Except Salinger used the bad word beginning with "f" that Amazon doesn't seem to allow. See how that might be considered profane? Amazon does. Anyway, you can read it for yourself in the part where Holden goes to the school to give her a note to meet him.
You have to remember that this book came out in 1951, really not long after the second world war and during the time of the U.S. crackdown on communism. The powers that be were trying to keep everyone under control.
The book not only has multiple uses of varied swearing - d*mns and G0d d*mns everywhere and even a couple of Fu's near the end, but it also has mentions of alcoholism, gay sex - (including an older respected man touching Caulfield while he slept), prostitution, bullying, teen death, getting expelled from school, family disfunction, race and class distinctions and basically the whole social fabric.
Holden pokes fun of Hollywood, media, parents, government and basically the whole American way of life. It doesn't help that it's written by a teen in a sanitarium. This is not the picture of a rosy future that America was trying to promote in the early 1950's.......or now for that matter....