Today, we started talking about the Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I really enjoyed this novel. I find it surprising that Salinger was able to get this novel published in the early 1950s when things like sex were considered taboo. According to the American Library Association, the Catcher in the Rye is the second most challenged book, behind the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The novel has been banned and challenged from 1960 with the most recent case in 2009 for it’s profanity, sexual content, violence, and “moral issues”. I think children face much more profanity, sexual content, violence, and “moral issues” on television, the Internet, in music on the radio, and when playing video games.
In class, we discussed some of the slang and terminology used in the novel. I found it very interesting to see how people would talk back then, especially since movies during that time tried their best to make everything family friendly which this novel is definitely not. I think this novel is important because it shows people that not everyone was as proper or “square” in the fifties as we sometimes generalize in the present.
It also got my thinking about the changes in slang words even in the past five years. Five years ago, my friends and I would go around saying something was “phat” which meant it was cool. Nowadays, nobody says “phat”. A fairly recent slang word that arose in the past year is “tight”. If someone’s annoyed or angry, you can say that they’re “tight”.
– Amber G.