Why is The Catcher in the Rye so important in the history of ideas towards American class/social/cultural consciousness?I understand that at that period of time, the world was just emerging from...

Why is The Catcher in the Rye so important in the history of ideas towards American class/social/cultural consciousness?

I understand that at that period of time, the world was just emerging from WW2 and that this book had exposed - in a way - the american lifestyle as imperfect (I could easily be seriously wrong, if so correct me). Essentially, what was it about this book that 'changed the rules' for acceptable prose and fiction? How did people write before CITR and after CITR?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one of the most significant elements that come out of the book in terms of "changing the rules" was that literature was presented with an active and dynamic narrator that demanded the audience be equally active and dynamic.  Holden's narration style is not static.  Whatever one might feel about him, he tells a story that is more of a discussion with the narrator as opposed to a type of straight narrative.  When he poses questions and situations to the reader, Holden does so in a way whereby the reader is compelled to respond.  If it appears that the reader is actually "speaking" in the process of reading, this is significant.  The style in which the book is written is one where it invites that activity of the reader in identification with Holden's predicament.  I think that this is part of what made the book so unique for its time.  At a time period when literature was more or less dictated to the reader, Holden speaks to the reader, encouraging the reader to identify with his plight and predicament and apply it to their own context.  In this, Holden becomes more than simply "narrator."  In many respects, he becomes a leader of those who are similarly disaffected.

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sweetsrez | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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if we look on America's history America headed towards becoming one of the powerful nation of the world developing industrially, technologically, scientiically, culturally since 1930 and in course of these development Americans forgot their feelings emotions and so on. capitalism lead people towards investment of everything even themselves and that creaded a sort of  depression on the youth of the time. Our holden Caulfield is an representation of them. we can study the plight of the youth of the time through Holden, stradlard, ackiey, carl luce, Sunny etc. Holdens parents who are not encountered even once represent the timelessness of the parents towards their children. Holden doesnot even once remembers any moment wid them.

This novel clearly pressents the then american society thus it is an important key to study america of that time

sweetsrez's profile pic

sweetsrez | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

if we look on America's history America headed towards becoming one of the powerful nation of the world developing industrially, technologically, scientiically, culturally since 1930 and in course of these development Americans forgot their feelings emotions and so on. capitalism lead people towards investment of everything even themselves and that creaded a sort of  depression on the youth of the time. Our holden Caulfield is an representation of them. we can study the plight of the youth of the time through Holden, stradlard, ackiey, carl luce, Sunny etc.

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