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Word Count: 462
This book has been steeped in controversy since it was banned in America after its first publication John Lennons assassin Mark Chapman asked the former Beatle to sign a copy of the book earlier in the morning of the day that he murdered Lennon Police found the book in his possession upon apprehending the psychologically disturbed Chapman However the book itself contains nothing that could be attributed with leading Chapman to act as he did - it could have been any book that he was reading the day he decided to kill John Lennon - and as a result of the fact that it was The Catcher in the Rye a book describing a nervous breakdown media speculated widely about the possible connection This gave the book even more notoriety So what is The Catcher in the Rye actually about Superficially the story of a young mans expulsion from yet another school The Catcher in the Rye is in fact a perceptive study of one individuals understanding of his human condition Holden Caulfield a teenager growing up in 1950s New York has been expelled school for poor achievement once again In an attempt to deal with this he leaves school a few days prior to the end of term and goes to New York to take a vacation before returning to his parents inevitable wrath Told as a monologue the book describes Holdens thoughts and activities over these few days during which he describes a developing nervous breakdown symptomised by his bouts of unexplained depression impulsive spending and generally odd erratic behaviour prior to his eventual nervous collapse However during his psychological battle life continues on around Holden as it always had with the majority of people ignoring the madman stuff that is happening to him - until it begins to encroach on their well defined social codes Progressively through the novel we are challenged to think about societys attitude to the human
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