Social Class

In 1950's America there were very strict rules and traditions that you must abide by throughout your life, understanding and living with these laws was the hardest for teenagers to cope and deal with. The social expectations were to go to school, put 100% effort in, graduate, then own a home, car and have a family. There is so much pressure for everyone to conform, and in the 1950's you were expected to be 'normal' and just like everyone else, going out of conformity meant that you lost some respect, it made you worried and meant that you didn't fit in. The rules for teenagers were to obey the authorities, don’t talk back or question anyone older, be presented well like a group, fit in with society and to be normal.

The element for social class is demonstrated through many teenage delinquents throughout the entire novel, this element is language and word usage. Being well mannered was a big part of American tradition and showed that you present yourself nicely in order to conform and be like one another. What Caulfield does is to not conform and agree with society and its laws, he goes out too late at night with girls and also doesn't put the effort into his schooling therefore getting kicked out which was very bad thing to do in that time as you were expected to go to school, put 100% effort in and graduate.

An example of Holden cursing is " 'It's immaterial to me,' she said. 'Hey—how old are you, anyhow?'   That annoyed me, for some reason. 'Oh, Christ. Don't spoil it,' I said. 'I'm twelve, for Chrissake. I'm big for my age.'"  In the 1950's using the lords name in vein was a very strong and rude word to use, it was regarded as the most foul language. Holden said 'Christ', 'Jesus', 'Goddamn' a whole lot, JD Salinger is trying to prove through Holden that he has lost respect for tradition and conformity. Holden wants to his own thing and be what he wants to be without looking or feeling different from everybody else. JD Salinger  demonstrates his frustration by him rebelling against the rules and curses which would mean he is in a state of anger with the society because of how many rules he had to abide by. JD Salinger challenges this assumption in the book by expressing his anger about these laws and customs of social class through Holden by him being angry with society and doing many things to not conform.

Comment Stream

2 years ago
0

Hi Lochy,

This is good. You use some very relevant quotes to help highlight your ideas, however, when you come to write about these in the assessment task, be sure to link them with more fluency. Here they seem a little disjointed. I would try and introduce the quote of him cursing with more information as to WHY you are mentioning it. For example, you could start with "Caulfield's frustration with society and thus his mannerisms that are attributed to teenage delinquency can be seen throughout the book with Caulfield continuously swearing..."

Also, when you make reference to 1950's demands of teenagers, include a quote from the text that shows how the pressure of society is getting to Caulfield. This could be one about his parents or his teachers/school.

2 years ago
0

After reading your teenage delinquency blog, I think you need to make your points about social class and conformity a little more clear and detailed.

2 years ago
0

you made some good points and explained the authors views as well as yours, but once again your final editing let you down a bit