Cultural Perception

Women, Pop Culture, & The American Psyche


When analyzing J.D. Salinger's famous novel, The Catcher in the Rye, one can realize cultural preception influence women, pop culture, and american phsyche.


1. How was the role of women in society in transition during post-war period? many women were unemployed and were in need of a job, they supported themselves.

2. Describe the ideal women according to Hollywood. an ideal women for Hollywood was a stay home mom who's a sweetheart to everyone in her family.

3. What contrasting media images of femininity did the public receive during the post-war era? how women were shown that they were able to drive in a couple of pictures and how they're able to do a mans job as well.

4. How might these images have affect Holden's perception of romantic interests? it made women look classy but once he got that prostitute sent up to his room he didn't want to deal with women.

5. List the following popular or "best of" items from 1951 wit 2-3 examples of each. a couple of the popular items were pattern dresses, comic books, & whisky

6. What kind of music were most people listening to? Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis, R&B, Chuck Berry, Nat King Cole, Classic Pop

7. Who and what were they seeing at the movies? James Dean, Cinderella, Sunset, Harvey

8. How was psychiatry viewed within mainstream America in the early 1950s? Is this different from today? they viewed them as if they were crazy people and someone that would harm others. Today people help those that have problems, they might still think they're crazy but they help that go away.

Textual Evidence

1. Women in this time period were starting to become more important, but in the book the boys didn't really treat them fairly. They were very sexual towards them, like Holden says about his roommate. Society was becoming more open about letting women be the way they want, but not everyone agreed with that and treated them with little respect.

2. The American psyche was basically how the Americans thought about things going on in the society and their attitude towards things. Many characters in the book had a carefree attitude and weren't afraid to do many things. Like in the book Holden would lie about his name or anything because he didn't care what people would say because he wouldn't see them again. Holden's roommate would do whatever he wanted or act how he wanted towards girls because he didn't care. Their American psyche was carefree & stress free.

3. The culture you could say is more family based, because in the book Holden is scared to make his mother upset when he got kicked out of the school because he failed most of his classes. Family is mostly what everyone talks about and how they would like to please their family and make them happy. Culture now a days is like that also, a lot of people just want to make their family happy and the culture from then is still apart of the society now.

Quiz Questions

1. True or false, was Cinderella being shown in the movies?

2. What were the 3 main sub topics we talked about in the presentation?

3. What was one type of music that was being listened to?

4. How did hollywood describe their prefect women?

5. True or false, many women after the war were unemployed.

6. List one of the popular items from 1951.

7. Were women showed as being able to do a mans job as well as them?

8. True or false, was Elvis a type of music being listened to.

9. True or false, was James Dean a popular person in this time period.

10. Did women have a big role in this time period?