J.D Salinger is an American author expressing his life experiences ,opinions and feelings through a fictional novel called 'Catcher In The Rye'. J.D Salinger challenges cultural assumptions throughout the novel such as teenage delinquency. Teenage delinquency in the 1950s was the start of the rebellion where teenagers started to question their parents and teachers authority over them and become more independent. However they used this sense of freedom in a reckless way leading to becoming outcasts of society and alone.
Holden Caulfield is the main character who faces a range of socially challenging situations . Holden is an example of a stereo typical delinquent from the 1950s . J.D Salinger portrays Holden's delinquency throughout the novel by stating his involvement in reckless activities and seeming to not care about many things. This aspect is shown throughout Catcher in The Rye when the technique of offensive language is used . Many curse words are used throughout the novel to entail Holden's reckless and careless language that he uses without a second thought . An example of this is "I just see the big phony bastard shifting into first gear and asking Jesus to send him a few more stiffs". This shows teenage delinquency.
Teenage delinquency is challenged throughout the novel by how Holden admires friendship and will confront others who do not. Some quotes that show this include "Jane Gallagher. Jesus . . . I couldn't get her off my mind. I really couldn't. "
"I kept thinking about Jane, and about Stradlater having a date with her and all. It made me so nervous I nearly went crazy"
"He went back to the room, but I stuck around in the can for a while, thinking about old Jane"
Holden constant repetition of thinking about Jane and feeling nervous when she went on a date with Stradlater gave the audience the impression he really cared and valued her as a person and wanted her to be happy/safe.
Holdens display of friendship for Jane leaves the audience to question whether these teenagers are actually thoughtless delinquents or whether they are just being misunderstood.