Nine Stories

On Salinger’s Tendency To Give Emotion A Physicality: "For Esme" and The Catcher in the Rye 10th Grade

By the 1950s, classical stylings in literature had been all but abandoned by American writers. Poets and novelists were bent on revolutionizing literature by rejecting traditional stylings and standards. After seemingly every arbitrary limit to writing was shattered, it came time to tie in the most inspiring consistencies of the old with the most exciting experiments of the new. The Catcher in the Rye does so successfully by reinstituting reflections of humanity and emotion in nature, which was developed by the Romantics and Transcendentalists, exposing the pointless, cyclical tendencies of the whole of society like the Decadents, while still dominating the book with modern prose and a newly popularized, perfected, and frankly depressing focus on criticism of American society and capitalistic issues in a realistic high school narrative. Holden Caulfield, a pessimistic student who has been in and out of various matching boarding schools traverses New York City in a state of absolute depression and struggles with thoughts of suicide, the possibility of running away, and general indignation at the disrespect for childhood that he sees in society. In another Salinger work, For Esme- with Love and Squalor, many of the struggles and...

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