The Rye Is One Adolescent Boy 's Search For Identity

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Catcher in the Rye is one adolescent boy’s search for identity in an imperfect adult world. Holden Caulfield dreams of saving what he perceives as the disadvantaged of his society from injustice and repression. He struggles throughout the novel with conflicting religious and ethical values, and opposes various forms of social and political oppression. However, he is disappointed with both himself and the world around him, when he realizes he needs to move on from this innocent idealism he had to a more realistic acceptance of social imperfections and personal limits. Neglect: The era of The Catcher in the Rye wasn’t until late 1940’s and early 1950 ’s, and it was then when adolescence became both a social presence and a cultural concept. Linguist Bill Bryson illustrates: ‘So little had they (adolescents) been noticed in the past that teenager had entered the language only as recently as 1941. (As an adjective, teenage had been around since the 1920s, but it wasn’t used much.) In the heady boom of the postwar years, however, America’s teenagers made up for lost time. Between 1946 and 1960, when the population of the United States grew by about 40 percent, the number of teenagers grew by 110 percent. (335) It is hence evident that Holden’s generation represents the beginning of social trends in which youth would outnumber adults and form their own culture. Due to the media- emphasis on youth culture, and the neglect parents showed their children then, adolescents are

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