The Image and Role of Society in Catcher in the Rye

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In J.D. Salinger Catcher In The Rye, A young man, Holden Caulfield, is faced with many challenges of society. This book was set in the 1940’s and society has changed in many ways from then to now. Society has changed in various ways from the mid 20th century to the early 21st century because, women have become less objectified, the popular clothes have been altered, and people partake in different activities.

This book was still set in a time where women were not treated equally to men. Although women had many rights, it was inevitable to stop the objectification of them. They could be objectified in many ways such as sexual and physical roles. In the current time period more men are doing the roles of what women used to solely do. The time this book was set in was when women would cook for the family every night and every teacher at a school would be a female. Most men grew up not thinking anything was wrong because they were treated much better than women. An example of objectification is when Monsieur Blanchard said, “a woman's body is like a violin and all, and that it takes a terrific musician to play it right (Salinger 57)”. This is just one example of how they could be objectified. With this quote we can see that women were sexually objectified. He is making a comparison of a woman’s body to an object. In the modern world, this talk is not liked by many and has stopped by many after everyone has realized the consequences.

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During the time period of this book, it was a popular thing to wear formal apparel. Most schools and other establishments would require the people attending to wear nicer clothes. Now, only private schools and nicer establishments require this clothing. An example of this popularity is when Holden says, “they wear those suits with very big shoulders and corny black-and-white shoes (Salinger 9)”. From this quote we can inference that there were many of these types of people at Holden’s school and in the world. Nicer clothes were more pleasing to the eye and very ubiquitous in Holden’s time. The world has become much more casual. Comfortable clothes are slowly becoming a popular sight to see in the modern world.

When this book took place, many kids would partake in different activities than we would right now. In society, it was really popular to do stuff at that time, just like it is now. There are many things now that are not deemed safe, but people did years ago. For instance when Holden says, “ I'm quite a heavy smoker (Salinger 4)”. From this quote, we can learn that Holden is a heavy smoker. We can infer that smoking must have been a popular thing to do just like how the vaping epidemic is going around teenagers. Many activities have changed because of concerns for health and many other reasons.

In these situations and others like them, society has changed a lot. Society has changed in various ways from the mid 20th century to the early 21st century because, the treatment of women has become much more balanced, the popular clothes have been altered, and people partake in different activities. This is relevant because each year new norms and popular ideas are brought into society. They will always change for the rest of the earth’s lifespan. There will be new items and activities tomorrow that are more popular than items and activities of today’s age.

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The Image and Role of Society in Catcher in the Rye. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-image-and-role-of-society-in-catcher-in-the-rye/
“The Image and Role of Society in Catcher in the Rye.” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/the-image-and-role-of-society-in-catcher-in-the-rye/
The Image and Role of Society in Catcher in the Rye. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-image-and-role-of-society-in-catcher-in-the-rye/> [Accessed 20 Apr. 2024].
The Image and Role of Society in Catcher in the Rye [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 16 [cited 2024 Apr 20]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-image-and-role-of-society-in-catcher-in-the-rye/
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