Summary Of ' Salinger 's ' The Rye '

1395 Words Dec 4th, 2015 6 Pages
Catcher in the Rye was written by J.D Salinger in 1951, at a time when American values had forced an entire generation of kids to conform to the standards set by a society that strongly castigated diversity. It stirred up a lot of controversy and criticism because it discussed taboo topics such as adolescent sexuality and rebelling against societal norms. After World War II, America had become extremely prosperous due to it’s industrial advancement, but the growth of the economy also came with strict social rules that taught people how to dress, who to date, and how to face the reality of adulthood. With the threat of the Cold War and the terror of the Red Scare, people conformed to have some continuity in their lives. They were taught that if they conformed to social norms, they would eventually achieve the American Dream; the idea that everyone should be allowed to advance within society and live life to their fullest potential. Throughout the novel, Holden Caulfield is confronted by the reality that this dream isn’t real, even though everyone around him would often dearly try to cling on to this fantasy. Holden tries to avoid living an insignificant life and finds no appeal in a white collar lifestyle, “It 's [Pencey] full of phonies, and all you do is study so that you can learn enough to be smart enough to be able to buy a goddam Cadillac some day” (131). Through the characterization of Holden, Salinger shows us people’s need to conform and the corrupt nature of…
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