Is The Catcher in the Rye the book of assassins? Mark David Chapman's obsession with this book led to his assassination of John Lennon and John Hinkley left a copy of it in his hotel room when he set out to kill Ronald Reagan. Lee Harvey Oswald may have owned a copy of The Catcher in the Rye, as well. J.D. Salinger's 1951 novel resonated with these troubled individuals because the narrator of the story, Holden Caulfield, is a disaffected outsider expressing his frustrations in affecting manner. The Catcher in the Rye is a coming-of-age story, but one in which the protagonist resists growing up. Holden views the adult world as "phony" and he is let down by authority figures at several points in the book. The title of the book comes from Holden's vision of protecting children playing in a rye field, which represents the innocence of childhood. Holden sees his role as keeping the children from falling from the rye field, shielding them from the hypocrisy of the adult world.
Can't you hear them? The voices. The voices in my mind.
Oh they heal me with wise words, and tell me they're phonies.
The violence can silence them when I'm tired.
Oh believe me, I want it, I try to I'm famous.
Blown headlines, with my crimes,
The world is so angry,
The people are phonies, they're phonies they're phonies.
Now they'll know me,
My action - will get a reaction.
Take the credit,
For voices in my head.
I'm tired of waiting for something to happen,
Can't you hear them? The voices; "They're phonies, they're phonies."