Cultural Assumptions

Conformity in the 1950's was a way of life, conformity is the behavior that people abide by in their own social acceptance. This term of conformity effected the lives of people, as the life you were ought to live was mapped out by the social status you were born in.

Conformity is shown in Catcher in the rye through the language of Holden Caulfield, Holden repeatedly uses words like phonies to express his frustrations for everybody being the same and abiding by the same rules and not being original for fear of left behind. This is shown in the text through Holden saying 'Even the couple of nice teachers on the faculty, they were phonies, too' he is telling the audience that everyone that applies to the rules of conformity is fake. He is saying that adults of authority like teachers, should be making their own choices in life and they are teaching students to follow this law of conformity but Holden doesn't want to.

Salinger question this Idea of conformity when Mr Spencerwas talking to Caulfield and he said 'Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules' Mr Spencer is telling us that we can metaphorically be treated like a game, where if we don’t follow the rules you will be left behind. The rules In this game are the rules of conformity. This makes the audience question the thought of life being a game and how would they play it and would they follow the rules or would they be left behind by society.

Helaina Smith

Comment Stream

2 years ago

I found that they clearly shown the cultural assumption well, and they gave good examples to help understand the assumption. I can see the elements used in the novel to help understand the assumption. I see that they didn't link the assumption to the time it was written but I could see how the author felt about it. I found this blog interesting and good