Cultural Assumption
Teenage Delinquency

A cultural assumption in the novel 'catcher in the rye' authored by J.D Salinger is teenage delinquency. Teenage delinquency is defined as teenagers behaviour that is not controllable by their parents and therefore violating the law. Teenagers in the 1950s rebelled against the rules and started running their own game.

An example of teenage delinquency is the language and techniques of teenagers who were using words that they weren't supposed to say. The shown in the novel by the use of the word goddam, moron and bastard by Holden Caulfield. This can specifically be linked to the novel by the quote used by Caulfield " I was the goddam manager of the fencing team" the 'goddam' used is considered a swear word in the 1950's
One specific characteristic of teenage delinquents at the time was to be seen with somebody even if they didn't know them well. In the Cather in the Rye novel J.D Salinger demonstrates this assumption through the actions of teenagers, such as Stradlater, only wanting to be seen with someone even if they don’t really know them. For example, when Holden's roommate Stadlater went on a date with Jane Gallagher even though he calls her Jean. J.D Salinger challenges this assumption through Holden when he becomes frustrated with Stadlater "You don't even know if her first name is Jane or Jean, ya goddam moron!" this challenges the assumption of teenage delinquency as it is saying that it is more important to know somebody than to be seen with someone.

Helaina Smith

Comment Stream

2 years ago

The cultural assumption was clearly identified and examples were given. I was able to easily identify the element as it was clearly shown. I couldn't see the link to the context. I can clearly see that J.D Salinger challenged the cultural assumption. I can see how the author showed the cultural assumption, through the characters. I found this blog very good.