In The Catcher in the Rye, what are some of the societal expectations of that time? What symbols represent the lack of freedom?

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The novel is set around the 1950s following WWII, which was a time of prosperity and the ascension of consumer culture in America. Mainstream American culture was focused on consumerism, wealth, and social status, and it was obsessed with entertainment. Young white men were expected to earn a high school diploma, enter the competitive workplace, contribute to the economy, start a family, buy a home, and enjoy working a stable, good-paying job. Holden Caulfield rejects every aspect of the American Dream and refuses to conform to popular American ideals. Holden claims that he detests the entertainment industry, yet attends several shows and flunks out of Pencey Prep. Holden fears entering the competitive workplace and does not value money or...

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