Books that have shaped America are slowly starting to disappear. Many of the previous social norms have fallen out of fashion, and because of this reason numerous books are beginning to become banned. Blasphemy, racism, sex, and violence are all ethical reasons for books to be censored.
Despite being a worldwide best seller, J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye has been on the banned books list since 1961 ( (Baldassarro). The Catcher in the Rye tells the short journey, of anti-hero Holden Caulfield, between the end of the fall semester and Christmas break (Salinger). The story begins when Holden is expelled from his school, Pency Prep, for failing a majority of his classes (Salinger). Holden knows he must return home, so he attempts to prolong the scolding he will receive from his parents, for being expelled, by venturing around Manhattan until it becomes necessary to return to his home (Salinger). Holden tells his story in the most vulgar way possible. Holden accounts being offered a prostitute by an elevator operator when he asks, “Innarested a little tail t’night?” (Salinger 91). Offensive language is also used throughout the book, for example, “You’re a dirty stupid sonuvabitch of a moron” (Salinger 44). Underage drinking is also one of Holden’s favorite passtimes as evident in the quote, “I ordered a scotch and soda, and told him not to mix it- I said it fast as hell, because if you hem and haw, they think you’re under twenty-one and won’t sell you any intoxicating liquor” (Salinger 69). These three quotes express the precise justifications for banning books: sexually explicit content, offensive language, and underage drug use (Association). Although, many consider The Catcher in the Rye to be morally wrong, it should not be banned solely because of its content consider this book; banning books infringes on our American right of free speech.
Our freedom of speech, and our freedom to read what we choose have been limited due to groups protesting certain titles. Trying to ban books is hurting our culture more than it is helping. Books cannot be taken off of the shelves at the rate that they are today. The act of book banning puts limitations on what authors can say, and what readers can read. The banning of books in America is a violation of our first amendment rights. Amendment one, by James Madison, of the United States Constitution states as follows:
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 grievance.
As long as humans have been able to communicate, others have tried to limit their socialization. Everyday, someone is always trying to restrict what can be said, written, sung, or broadcasted. Almost every idea ever has proved to be controversial to one person or another. Books, especially public and school library books...