In your opinion what episodes would have given Mark David Chapmann the urge to kill John Lennon?In the Catcher In the Rye, there are some episodes that connect to Mark David Chapman and urge him to...

In your opinion what episodes would have given Mark David Chapmann the urge to kill John Lennon?

In the Catcher In the Rye, there are some episodes that connect to Mark David Chapman and urge him to kill John Lennon.

Asked on by tmurph893

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akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I agree with the previous post.  I cannot find anything in the book to connect with how it could be used as a rationalization for murder in any way.  I think that the book received a fairly bad wrap and an unfair perception based off of Chapman's association with the work.  The book does not condone anything like what Chapman thought or did.  I cannot identify any episodes in the book that would have provided inspiration for Chapman.  I realize that this is a common association, but I cannot see any link between the two.  The previous post provided an excellent alternate theory of Chapman's motivation, but I am not convinced that there is anything to link the work to Chapman's actions.

mstultz72's profile pic

mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The Catcher in the Rye has NOTHNG to do with Mark David Chapman's killing of John Lennon.

Mark David Chapman had a slew of mental and emotional problems, none of which were caused by reading a book.  The mere fact that the book appeared on his bookshelf means absolutely nothing.  Holden Caufield or J. D. Salinger have not caused anyone to incite violence.  Such a connection is faulty logic.  It's like listening to a Beatles record backwards for some secret message.  As such, it's a myth and nonsense.

Mark David Chapman was a religious nut.  He shot John Lennon mainly because of what John Lennon said regarding the Beatles being "bigger than Jesus":

On March 4, 1966, this quote of John's was printed in an interview by reporter (and friend of John's) Maureen Cleave in the London Evening Standard:

"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."
He was, as she reported, reading extensively about religion at the time. It was a small part of the article. No one took notice of it in Britain.

Here's another source to confirm this:

It has been suggested that, as a young boy, Chapman was "very sensitive and that his parents' anger towards each other intruded upon his normal development. He retreated from a very early age into a fantasy world."[38] Chapman was a fan of the Beatles, particularly Lennon, but was reportedly angered by Lennon's infamous 1966 remark that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus." Jan Reeves, sister of one of Chapman's best friends, reports that Chapman "seemed really angry toward John Lennon, and he kept saying he could not understand why John Lennon had said it. According to Mark, there should be nobody more popular than Jesus Christ. He said it was blasphemy.

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