In eleven years of teaching, I’ve taught a good number of short stories, poems and novels. The one piece of literature that has been the most turbulent is Catcher in the Rye. I love this novel, but it is rife with bad language, immoral behavior and a poor, lost soul of a sixteen year old boy. I love this novel, but it has raised the ire of parents and students alike. Yet, I’ve also never taught a novel that had so many students saying, “I wish more novels were like this.” Or, “I get this kid.” Or, “Holden talks like we do in the hallway.”
It is a turbulent, controversial, lovable, offensive novel. Man, I love this novel.