Social Classes and Conformity
During the 1950’s the way you were treated on society was based on your status and behaviour. People in the 50’s were forced to conform (become alike) because it was seen as ot normal if you stood out from society. In order to conform rules had to be followed, these rules were you had to fit in with the group, obey authority, and control your emotions and to not think about sex. What depended f you were going to be popular or people give you attention depended on your social class. The wealthier people were more likely to thrive in a social environment while the poor were more out casted from society.
In the novel the characters all speak, dress and behave the same as each other in that social class for example throughout the novel Holden refers to everyone he encounters in new York as phonies meaning they are all fake and behave the same especially when he meets up with sally and she sees someone she knows and Holden referred to their conversation as ‘phonie’. Another way Holden shows his attitudes towards conformity is wearing his hunting hat backwards meaning that he does ot want to follow societies trends and rules.
J.D Salinger questions this assumption in the novel where Holden shows respect towards the nuns he meets at the station because of their attitudes towards wealth, giving the poor everything they have and taking a vow of poverty.
J.D Salinger questions this assumption because his opinion about conformity and social classes are shown through the character Holden and that this Holden is being slowly broken down because of tis conformity as he cannot fit in or find his place.