Cultural Assumtion 3:
Social class in the 1950s was divided in to three main categories, Lower class, Middle class and Upper class. Upper class had so much advantage over the other classes, more options, things are provided for them, they pretty much had their lives set out for them. Most people in the 1950s are in Middle class, middle class are provided with the same opportunity's as the upper class but the chances are they wont advance much beyond their current status. They have enough money to rent out a house and provided there family with the facilities that they need but aren't always able to provide the money they need. For eg taxes sometimes wont be paid right away. As for Lower class they aren't provided with as much opportunities as the other classes, they don't have very well paid jobs so they struggle with money. Class played a vital part in the community in the 1950's. The class status was decided by what status your parents were in and so on.
An element for social class in the 1950's that is demonstrated through Holden Caulfield and how his character is seen as and what JD Salinger is trying to say about social class is shown through his which is technically called Language.
The most noticeable of Holden’s language is how extremely judgmental he is of almost everything and everybody. He criticizes and philosophizes about people who are boring, people who are insecure, and, above all, people who are “phony.” Holden tends to express his language of social class in a very up front and honest way. For example Holden talks about how he is his own individual and he does what he wants because he doesn't want to live up to society's expectation. Holden was in the Upper class status during his time of a teenager. "Well – take me to the Edmont then," I said. "Would you care to stop on the way and join me for a cocktail? On me, I'm loaded." (9.10). Holden said this as if he didn't have a care in the world that he was wasting his money and just parading it around like a show pony.
But there was one nice thing. This family that you could tell just came out of some church were walking right in front of me – a father, a mother, and a little kid about six years old. They looked sort of poor.The kid was swell. He was making out like he was walking a very straight line, the way kids do, and the whole time he kept singing and humming.It made me feel better. It made me feel not so depressed anymore. (16.3) Holden demonstrates a understanding of how the boy feels and somehow builds a strong connection with him. By seeing how poor the boy was but how happy he was it made Holden feel better by just observing him.