CATCHER IN THE RYE. CONTEXT. First Edition Book Cover published in 1951. J.D. Salinger. Born in 1919, Manhattan to a rich family. He wrote short stories his first short story was published in 1940 He was drafted in 1942 and served 4 years in the army.
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Salinger’s writing seemed to tap into the emotions of readers in an unprecedented way. Catcher in the Rye was frequently read as a tale of an individual’s alienation within a heartless world. Holden seemed to stand for young people everywhere, who felt themselves beset on all sides by pressures to grow up and live their lives according to the rules, to disengage from meaningful human connection, and to restrict their own personalities and conform to a bland cultural norm. Many readers saw Holden Caulfield as a symbol of pure, unfettered individuality in the face of cultural oppression.
*the car (In the ’50s, 20% of GNP of U.S. went to purchasing vehicles)
* gaudy colors & chrome
* the supermarket (with an astounding selection of goods)
*home appliances (the “mod cons”)
* the suburbs
Levittown: considered first planned, mass- produced community in the suburbs; built 1947-1951 on Long Island
Smoking and drinking were commonplace, with advertisements persuading both men and women to smoke.