The magnitude of conformance of American society, whether it be spiritual, cultural, political, societal, or even based on gender functions or the apparels people wear, is overpowering. Elitism is besides rampant in modern American society, and so many people conform to the thought that to go rich and successful or to go portion of the societal “ elect ” is the ultimate end in life. J.D. Salinger demonstrates the trouble and disaffection of those who do non follow with the mainstream in a conformist and elitist society, portraying Holden Caufield as a troubled and down adolescent who struggles to happen significance in his life.
Holden Caufield is an anomic and troubled young person. “ Alienated young person in wide position include all those who are separated from, outside of, or dissatisfied with the mainstream of life ” ( Rogers 157 ) . Holden is non satisfied with the conformist society he has lived and grown up in. He believes that the huge bulks who follow the “ mainstream ” of life are all “ hypocrites ” and follow a really shallow, selfish, and nonmeaningful life style. However, because of his different positions of society and life, he is slightly ostracized and does non suit in good with any group of people, nor does he hold any close friends outside of his household. His hate of conformance even leads to him labeling his brother as a cocotte for abandoning his authorship in favour of being rich and celebrated.
“ Besides lending to youth ‘s disaffection is disillusionment with their seniors. Mass media have stripped away the facade of grownups ‘ respectabilityaˆ¦ ( Rogers 159 ) . Holden is disillusioned with the grownups around him, as all of them he considers hypocrite. He is alternatively enchanted with the artlessness of kids and eventually realizes that he wants to protect them when he becomes older. He does non desire the artlessness of kids such as his small sister Phoebe to melt off, and does non recognize that such things are inevitable. There is no doubting that Holden is really pure and guiltless in some ways. It is his really goodness and openness in some facets of life that lead him
to his very troubles in his life. He expects others to be every bit good as he is and this does non go on ever. For illustration, when he is seeking to wipe out blasphemous hooliganism at the school, it shows how he thinks others should be more respectful, Holden does non desire people, kids particularly, to be capable to this impure stuff. He hates the fact that these kids could see this. He knows, nevertheless, that is non the instance: . ” .. if I of all time die, and they stick me in a graveyard, and I have a gravestone and all, it ‘ll state ‘Holden Caulfield ‘ on it, and so what twelvemonth I was born and what twelvemonth I died, and so right under that it ‘ll state F — – You. ‘ I ‘m positive, in fact ” ( Salinger 204 ) . Holden can non merely bear the fact that some people merely have no regard for some things. It upsets him even more when it is written in a school where all the kids are. This upsets Holden to no terminal. When Phoebe is on the carrousel Holden wants to protect her but restrains himself. Holden wants to protect Phoebe when she grabs for the rings, nevertheless realizes he must allow her attempt. When Holden thinks of this his dreams of being the backstop in the rye vanishes.A He realizes that all kids must fall, like he himself did. It is impossible to retain your artlessness everlastingly and to try to make such a thing to a kid would be useless and naA?ve. Basically, The Catcher in the Rye is a narrative of a male child falling from artlessness to come in maturity. Today, when person holds on to their artlessness they are frequently considered castawaies ; and in the individuals mind everyone who considers him this, is a bogus, like how Holden saw everyone else.
Holden has searched for his individuality for his full life, but does non recognize until he is about an grownup what his intent is. “ The hunt for individuality, or the procedure through which a self-concept emerges, begins really early in life ” ( Ralston and Thomas 20 ) . Because of his deficiency of aspiration until later in his life, as a immature grownup Holden is detached and slightly shallow.
Conformity is the act of fiting attitudes or beliefs to a popular criterion that is considered to be the norm. Holden believes that the people who follow such life styles are
immoral and superficial. He evidently struggles through life, holding failed out of four different schools. He seems to hold made no permanent connexions to people and at first has no existent intent in life. He is invariably critical and judgmental of others and practically everyone he meets is labeled as hypocrite, drilling, or insecure. He has basically lost religion in society and does non hold any ends or aspirations. “ It is possible that kids ‘s apprehension and beliefs about other social establishments, which will be encountered in ulterior life, may be influenced by their early experiences of school ” ( Barrett and Buchanon-Barrow 5 ) . It is possible that Holden was influenced by the many different schools he went to as a kid and believed that because they were filled with hypocrites and people whom he did non wish to tie in himself with, the remainder of society and other schools were the same and therefore he did non seek to accomplish anything in either of those facets.
In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden alienates frequently himself from females. Holden frequently alienates himself by exposing scratchy behaviours and stating inappropriate remarks. Sally Hayes puts up with Holden ‘s actions for a piece, but finally she ca n’t cover with them any longer. Jane on the other manus ne’er even speaks to Holden because he can non near her. Holden ‘s immatureness alienates him sometimes excessively. He frequently makes a fool out of himself by seeking to move cool or older. Every clip Holden does this he contradicts himself because he is moving fraudulent, something he despises profoundly.
Depression is one of the chief causes and effects of disaffection. The rate of depression and self-destruction has increased greatly in the recent old ages, chiefly due to the addition of thoughts of conformance in society, and media word pictures of such conformance. “ In adolescent populations, the prevalence of depression additions markedly ” ( Clapp 124 ) . Depression is much more common in
adolescent populations. Adolescents are really easy influenced by their equals or the media, and therefore are much more susceptible to being ostracized and criticized.
Allie ‘s decease took a psychological toll on Holden ‘s ability to turn up. Psychoanalytically, Holden unconsciously fears that he can non win in life, hence populating in Allie ‘s shadow as opposed to making an single personality. Cognitively, Holden believes that if he applies himself in life, he will dominate his asleep brother. As a consequence, Holden sacrifices his maturity in order to keep the recollection of his brother. The interplay between unconscious and witting desires creates the implicit in struggle of Holden ‘s mind throughout the novel and causes him great depression throughout his life. “ A hunt for significance, within immature people ‘s histories of their mourning experiences, may be understood to mention to wide religious or experiential issues, such as: beliefs about an hereafter ; whether a decease had any purposeaˆ¦ ” ( McCarthy 87 ) . Allie ‘s decease may hold besides been a turning point in Holden ‘s life and it may hold caused him to get down to truly hunt for intending in his ain life.
In American society, there is frequently a force per unit area to conform to mainstream thoughts, or to suit in with everyone else, particularly on kids and immature grownups. This force per unit area can frequently take to depression and self-pity. There are sometimes exclusions to this, including alleged “ resilient kids ” . Resilient kids can defy peer-pressure and emphasis more successfully than the mean kid. “ In the hunt for resilient kids, a correlativity that has about ever emerged is a warm and supportive relationship with parents ” ( Clapp 120 ) . Family seems to be of import in developing immune kids. It is of import that society develops larger concentrations of resilient kids in order to defy childhood depression and disaffection. However, some may province that it is of import that people experience anxiousness and hurting at some point in life, as it is an experience to larn from and will condition an person. Offer states that “ anxiousness, depression,
shame, guilt, and choler are important in any phase of life. Holden seems to be slightly of a resilient kid. Although he is frequently down, suicide is normally far from his head and even though others claim he will amount to nil he does non listen to them. However, as the book progresses, he loses more and more of his clasp on world and even begins to oppugn if his life is deserving life.
Elitism in American society is really common as good, attesting itself in the media and in the natural human desire to win. Children learn this early on from parents who push them and talk to them on the importance of acquiring a good instruction, being competitory in order to acquire into a good college, and eventually acquiring a good occupation and seeking to come in the societal elite. The societal elite consists of the wealthy and influential people in society, and are looked up to and admired. Meanwhile, the hapless and less-fortunate are mocked and ridiculed.
Although elitism and conformance can ne’er be eliminated wholly, it is of import for society to try to command their influences. Such powerful thoughts, coupled with the like-mindedness of the general public, can drive the people who believe in their ain thoughts into depression, banishment, and ridicule. The growing of such malignant thoughts must be stopped before society is transformed into a resolved entity whose sentiments are merely distinct and governed by a powerful elect category. Creativity is a powerful thing, and with it the human race has achieved incredible efforts, achievements no other known species in the existence has of all time achieved. Without creativeness, humanity is nil but a mindless settlement of emmets, populating merely for subsistence and complacency.