• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Catcher in the Rye - That The Novel Justifies the Murder of John Lennon

Extracts from this document...


The Catcher in the Rye: Essay By James Hogan, 9S On the evening of December 8, 1980, Mark David Chapman calmly approached John Lennon outside of his apartment, pulled out a gun and fired five steady shots, four of which hit their mark. As the former Beatle, semi-conscious, lay on the ground haemorrhaging, Chapman pulled out his copy of The Catcher in the Rye and began to read. He later explained that he saw himself as an incarnation of the novel's main character, Holden Caulfield. On the inside cover, below the inscription, "This is my statement," Chapman signed the name Holden Caulfield. Chapman has claimed that his reasons and justification for the murder were contained in the book. This essay will prove that justification for the murder can be derived from the novel and the themes within. First, Holden's criticism towards what he refers to as "phonies" is a recurring theme throughout the book. Holden uses the broad term "phoniness" to describe the superficiality, hypocrisy, pretension, and shallowness that he encounters. ...read more.


He felt that he had to protect people from being influenced by what he believed to be the living of a lie. Lennon had to be removed. Second, Holden's want for the past and a state of permanence were an influence to Chapman. Holden's want to maintain the past is shown throughout the book. A prominent example of this happens at the Museum of National History. It is there that he explains why he is attracted to the museum. Certain things they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone... (Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye). Shortly after the break-up of The Beatles, who Chapman loved, Lennon became a peace activist and transformed into a phony. This change into a phony meant that the time when the music was solely for the people had gone. His music had lost that carefree purity that Chapman loved, and had changed. ...read more.


In conclusion, we can see that elements from the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, reflect upon Lennon and Chapman. We can see that Chapman saw himself as the next Holden Caulfield, and that he saw qualities within Lennon that made him a danger. Lennon's hypocritical lifestyle displayed him as a phony, and his changes into the world of "phoniness" and superficiality showed that Holden's own want for nothing to change and for the world to remain simple was false. His music was popular with children, and Chapman would have believed that the children who enjoyed were in fact being corrupted by the very aspects of Lennon that he came to loathe. These aspects of Lennon were the very qualities that Holden hated, and therefore Chapman hated. In doing this, Chapman was being the next catcher in the rye. Because of all of this, we can see that justification for the murder can be derived from the novel and elements within it. Word Count of Main Text: 1037 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J.D. Salinger section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE J.D. Salinger essays

  1. Holden's spiritual Journey in the Catcher in the Rye

    A midst his journey, Holden meets two kinds of people; he meets Maurice and Sunny who prove his cynical ideas about the society true; and he also meets the nuns who are kind and smart and prove him wrong. Maurice and Sunny show Holden the darker side of the world

  2. My Pastiche of Catcher in The Rye.

    They begin to think of you differently. "Oh! I'm so sorry!" she said, but not in a phony way. She really was sorry. "Oh, it's not too bad. Just goddam annoying as hell that's all.

  1. The cather in the rye

    When he sees this he starts to think about committing suicide because he feels like living is just a waste. During this time he spent in the tomb he decides on life or death. After going unconscious for a couple of minutes he decides to live because, "Death thus becomes not a gesture of defiance but of surrender"(Miller 17).

  2. catcher in the rye

    It also shows that Holden is still a teenager, but he wants to grow up quickly and become an adult.

  1. The Catcher In The Rye

    However he thought the prostitute would at least offer an opportunity to practice his sexual skills. ".... When I'm horsing around with a girl, I have a hulluva lot of trouble just finding what I'm looking for" (Chapter 13). The prostitute appeared very experienced.

  2. Hypocrisy in 'The Catcher in the Rye'

    For example, in the beginning of the novel, Holden has the chance to see Jane, as she is waiting to go on a date with Holdenâs roommate Stradlater.

  1. Reasons for Holden's outlook in "The Catcher in the Rye".

    Afterwards, Holden continues to make awful decisions. He writes: ??What's the matter?? I said. ?The front door!? she said in this loud whisper. ?It's them!?? (Page 195) When Holden finds out that his parents are home, I believe that it would have been better to have gotten caught.

  2. Catcher In the Rye Essay. Describe how the writer used effective symbolism in ...

    Moreover, the song ?Smoke gets in your eyes? portrays the image of smoke blinding one?s eyes. In a sense, it shows Holden?s will to avoid adulthood by blinding himself with the child?s world and not make any forward progress in maturing.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work