HISTORICAL CONTEXT

from Catcher in the Rye

Thesis

The impact that the history during the 1990's had on the Catcher in the Rye was grave.

Throughout the book all Salinger mentions the new techonolgy that came out. He also mentions things about the war. The children had the expectation of going to a private school and if they got introuble there were extreme consequences. With all these things mixed together, Salinger was able to create this novel.

How was the critical reception of the novel illustrative of the time period?

The critical reception of the novel was good. On July 14, 1951- the Saturday review praised the work as “remarkable” and “absorbing” On July 15, 1951- Booklist found the work “imaginative” but warn of “coarse language.” Library Journal- Harold Roth “highly recommended” the novel but warned that it “may be a shock to many parents.” BAD. On September 1, 1951- a review for Nation liked parts of the story but generally thought it was “predictable.” Anne L. Goodman- New republics rated the final scene “as good as anything that Salinger has written” but concluded that “the book as a whole is disappointing.” August 1951- Harvey Bret considered the work as a “summer novel” and found it to be a “near miss” in effectiveness.

Juvenile Delinquency: The Catcher in the Rye
Stop at 3:46

what pressures specific to the time period influenced Holden? How is the supposed to act?

During his time period there was a lot of new technology coming at at this time. There was t.v that just started coming out. The music such as rock and roll and jazz started coming out. The teens of this time period were not acting how they were supposed to.

Explain the growth of consumer’s culture in the post-war-era. How is this reflected in the novel?

End of war rationing meant access to consumer items. Opportunities for employment for many although women employed in wartime factories often exited the workforce. Most of the people incomes went to purchasing vehicles. The supermarket also had an astounding selection of goods due to the post war. In the novol we see people spending money left and right on things they don't need. Theres also a lot of people at the bar and going to shows every night. We see the main character going to private schools to.

What, if any, support would have helped Holden to become a well-adjusted teen?

During this time, Catcher in the Rye and Mark Twains the Adventure of Huckleberry Finn were compared. It was on the New York Times best-seller list for 30 weeks in all but the novel never climbed higher than fourth. What if any, support would have helped Holden to become a well-adjusted teen? If felt lonely all the time. “I didn’t answer him all I did was I got up and went over and looked out the window. I felt so lonesome all of a sudden. I almost wished I was dead (48).” If he had support from the people around him and didn’t focus so much on the bad in the world and focus the good the world can bring.
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How do you think the Cold War influenced Holden’s culture? Focuse on people, events, ideology, places, ect? Think about: Which countries were involved in the Cold War? What were they fighting/ angry about?

The cold war has an effect on Holden’s culture because Holden wanted to resist authority and didn’t really like following the rules. While Salinger was trying to publish the WWII ended and the cold war started. During this time everyone was focused on trying to get along, get approved by others, and they could not be independent if the followed others. Holden doesn’t really want to follow society rules so he rebels against it. "a vicious prep school social hierarchy, callous teachers, and a city of predators, strangers, and social-climbers—precipitates his breakdown. Holden offers an unflattering picture of postwar America and adopts a series of unorthodox positions at odds with mainstream values, calling himself “sort of an atheist” and “a pacifist-Timonthy Aubery

Then he started telling us how he was never ashamed, when he was in some kind of trouble or something, to get right down his knees and pray to God. He told us we should always pray to God—talk to Him and all—wherever we were. He told us we ought to think of Jesus as our buddy and all. He said he talked to Jesus all the time. Even when he was driving his car. That killed me. I just see the big phony bastard shifting into first gear and asking Jesus to send him a few more stiffs. (3.2) Chapter 3


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How did the House Un-American Activities Commission influence everyday life for American citizens? (meaning, what did they do that affected regular people’s lives?)

The House un-American activities commission was a group created to investigate American citizens that were communist or spies. They were sent to prison or some were killed. This was a result of the Red Scares. The Red Scares was a time period that there was a nationwide fear of comminists, socialists, anarchists. These groups affected the American mentality following a series of anarchists bombings.

Identify at least 5 ways WWII impacted American culture. What happened as a result of the war?

Any media that was around in this time period in this time period was all about the war. Many non-war programs, such as The Simpsons, made references to World War 2 related subjects. Anything to do with the Holocaust and Hitler was aired on t.v also. Constitution rights got suspended like the freedom of press. Gas prices and other prices went up because they used the money to go towards the war efforts. The U.S became the world’s only world power because of the war. Because they became a world power they ended isolationism. After the war there were civil rights movements. The U.S had Japanese concentration camps because of the war.

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Is Holden an early example of the “Counter-Culture Cycle”? Why/ why not?

The counter-culture cycle was a “subculture whose values and norms of behavior differ substantially from those of mainstream culture mores”. Holden is an example of this because during the 1950’s, when he was a teenager he operated and behaved differently than teenagers of other time periods. He was more independent and could do just about anything he wanted to do.




"Anyways, I'm sort of glad they've got the Atomic bomb invented. If theres ever another war, im going to sit right the hell on top og it. I'll volunteer for it, i swear to God i will." (chapter 18).


From this quote we can already tell that Holden is not the avergae teen. No one really sits around have has things like this come to mind. He is very different from the other teeen boys because they would want to fight in the war for there country, not go to war just to commit susicide.

How does it relate to the past and the present

J.D Sailinger book Cathcer in the Rye was ahead of its time. He wrote a book which could be described as a "modern book." Through time, it shows the mental breakdown of a teenage boy but shows how the world is seen through a negative eye. Holden focused on the negative in the world, which contributed to his breakdown. However, this book gave us in inside look on a mental breakdown.

Quiz

1.)How did the critics respond to The catcher in the Rye?

2.)What was the book Catcher in the Rye compared to?

3.)Why does Holden call himself "sort of an atheist" and "a pacifist"?

4.)Does Holden operate differently than other teens? True or False.

5.)Name one or more thing that has happened as a result of WWII?

6.)Who did Holden behave more differently than?

7.)This book gave a look inside a mental breakdown. True or False.

8.)The Catcher in the Rye was describe as...

A. Old book C. a look seen through negative eye.

B. modern book D. Both B and C

9.)What do you feel could have helped Holden become a well-adjusted teen?

10.)This book was written in the 20th century. True or False.