J.D. Salinger: Short 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...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1461 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 10413 literature essays, 2634 sample college application essays, 532 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in