What are three examples of cultural issues in the novel?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

PROSTITUTION.  Holden is so depressed in Chapter 13 that he accepts an invitation from the hotel elevator operator for a visit from a prostitute. He tells her that he only wants to talk, but she becomes bored and demands more money. It is difficult to determine if Holden refuses the opportunity for sex because he is afraid, or if he is honoring his earlier belief that sex should be with a loving companion. Holden does not demean Sunny, the prostitute, as one might expect. Although he is uncomfortable in her presence, he seems to enjoy her company. 

HOMOSEXUALITY.  When Holden accepts an invitation from his old teacher to spend the night, he awakes to find the teacher patting his head. Holden takes this as a homosexual advance, and he immediately hits the streets in the middle of the night. After reconsidering, he cannot decide whether he is mistaken about the teacher's intentions or not.

YOUTHFUL REBELLION.  It is long before the time of Vietnam protests, but Holden finds a reason to rebel against nearly everything. His inability to accept the era's social role models is particularly troubling.

jaybusiness23 | Student

Smoking: At the time, smoking at a young age was highly acceptable. It was the new trend.

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The Catcher in the Rye

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