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Contemporary North American Teenager and The Catcher in the Rye.

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Contemporary North American Teenager and The Catcher in the Rye How many people in the world are not aware of, at least some of, the sordid aspects of the American cultural landscape? In J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, the behaviour and attitudes displayed by Holden Caulfield, the novel's protagonist do much to bolster a unflattering stereotype of the contemporary North American teenager. Many students encounter difficulty within themselves regarding school work or relationship with one another. Numbers of scenes of prostitutions have been found all over the America. Innumerable teenagers are involved in sexual activities and drugs. There are three significant characters and plots within them captured in The Catcher in the Rye who show the contemptible side of the American cultural landscape of the present. Holden Caulfield's cynical and jaded narration leads chapter by chapter in The Catcher in the Rye. ...read more.


He is uncomfortable with his own weaknesses, and at times displays as much phoniness, meanness, and superficiality as anyone else in the book. His inability to successfully negotiate the chasm leaves him on the verge of emotional collapse which is occurring to number of American teenagers. One seamy aspect of life revealed in the novel is teenage sex. This is clearly illustrated through Ward Stradlater, Holden's roommate at Pencey Prep. Stradlater is handsome, self-satisfied, and popular, but Holden calls him a "secret slob," because he appears well groomed, but his toiletries, such as his razor, are disgustingly unclean. Stradlater is sexually active and quite experienced in relationships with girls, which is why Holden also calls him a "sexy bastard." After his date with Jane Gallagher, Stradlater avoids Holden's questions of whether he and Jane had any kind of sexual relationship. ...read more.


Most are 18 to 25 years old, but some are barely teenagers. Police picked up a 13-year-old runaway from San Diego who was selling sex." Many articles similar to this are found on newspapers or magazines almost everyday. As The Catcher in the Rye contains the seriousness of the problems regarding sex trades or prostitution, the book became very aware and well-known in literacy groups and organizations. The three characters mentioned above, Holden, Stradlater, and Sunny are who play the typical type of contemporary American teenagers' lives. In The Catcher in the Rye alienation within a society that is increasingly sacrificing its value system for the sake of monetary gain. It is also that of alienation within a society that is conformist, where no one has the courage to be true, honest, and different. Throughout the book, Salinger stresses the need for interaction and communication, which seem to be disappearing in the post-war America. 2 Jessica Kim Block E ...read more.

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