Catcher In The Rye Outsiders

1360 Words6 Pages
In every aspect of society, there are social norms, a regulation or expectancy that dominates people’s morals, beliefs, actions, attitudes and behaviors. In J.D. Salinger’s 1951 novel, Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield defy societal norms, becoming an outsider who is searching for his place and meaning in the world. His world is full of what he calls, “phonies,” a person who is not genuine, will do whatever it takes to make themselves look good, and change their personality to fit into a certain group. Throughout the novel, the audience is taken on a journey with Holden through post-World War II New York. During that time period, the United States of America was an other-directed society; a society based on one’s ability to conform to societal…show more content…
Salinger was able to depict the culture and the mood of the 1950s, a time period where those of the dominant culture lived great lives, while those who were different from societal norms were discriminated and isolated. America’s other-directed society of the 1950s, caused a social divide, which create outsiders like Holden, who did not want to conform to societal norms. David Riesman’s theory of societies is shown throughout the book, and is valid today. Although America is still an other-directed society nation today, with social and mass media as major influences, many people are defying societal norms, creating a large number of outsiders who is trying to Back in the mid-1900s, David Riesman theorized that the compulsion and drive of these types of societies no longer came from within, but from the outside. In modern society today, David Riesman’s theory is still valid, as America remains a consumerist nation. Compared to inner-directed societies where inspiration and drive comes from within, America’s society continues to be largely influenced by external drives, such as the media. Even though it may be the harder journey to take, it is understandable to see why people would take the path of the outsider; in order to attain freedom from society’s binding

More about Catcher In The Rye Outsiders

Open Document