Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!

The theory of individualism - Essay Example

Only on StudentShare
Author : amorissette
Pages 5 (1255 words)


The Catcher In The Rye’s protagonist, Holden Caufield, practiced individualism because he disagreed with the culture in his mainstream society. He was successful only in the sense of being able to express his individualism in words and actions. …

Extract of sample
The theory of individualism

The Catcher In The Rye’s protagonist, Holden Caufield, practiced individualism because he disagreed with the culture in his mainstream society. He was successful only in the sense of being able to express his individualism in words and actions. Holden has been made a symbol of American individualism of his time. Salinger used him as a mouthpiece to voice his contemporary society’s social issues like the gradual diminishing of the parental control in the family.The Catcher In The Rye is about Holden’s coming of age in his society. As such, he questioned himself as well as others in his new maturity. He made a big fuss when there was nothing much to complain about. He has mistakenly refused to pass through his transition from childhood to adulthood because he wanted to hang on to innocence. It is difficult to believe that Holden, who used profanity profusely, would be that shocked to see profanity written on the toilet walls at Phoebe’s school. Critics have also questioned the purity of the sibling relationship between Holden and Phoebe. It is difficult to believe that a rather mixed up individual can love his sister more than himself. This can be read as a hint that those who try to be selfless in loving others will feel isolated and rejected so much that sanity is challenged. Holden’s mistake was in searching for his self-identity apart from his society. He was a dreamer who refused to accept responsibility for his actions. Salinger had also shown us how not to live the life of Holden Caulfield. ...
Download paper

Related Essays

Brecht's Theory and Practice to Aristotle's Theory
Bert Brecht brought in much into the modern interpretation of the theory of theatre. It is very interesting to look at innovative interpretations of the ancient drama, initiated by Bert Brecht. His aesthetical concerns were mainly focused on the human being as an integrated individual within the social context. His behavior is developed under the social influence of the environment and Brecht claims that no fate exerts influence on the destiny of the main character in the play. There is a kind of different positioning of the role of the theatre developed by Aristotle. He claims that mainly the…
8 pages (2008 words)
Individualism and Society in Lady Windermereе's Fan by Oscar Wilde
This paper will examine the play Lady Windermere’s Fan and discuss key aspects such as society and the individual that all seem to influence characters’ behaviours and thoughts. Lady Windermere’s Fan speaks to the interference of societal constraints in individual actions and thought processes. Society and individual determine the nature of persons, as well as their characteristics. The plot centres on the life of Lady Windermere who believes that her husband was having an extra marital affair with another woman, Mrs. Erlynne who as it turns out, is Lady Windermere’s long lost mother…
7 pages (1757 words)
Compare and contrast individualism and individuality
Here, the aggregate of properties are peculiar to an individual, where the sum of the attributes distinguish an object from others of the same kind (Oxford English Dictionary).…
2 pages (502 words)
Dewey's Democratic Individualism
Even crime is becoming corporate. What happens nowadays is that "these corporations [effect] a change of social life from an individual to corporate affair." Reactions of the individual and society as a whole to this change are manifold: they affect the psychological, professional, and political sphere. According to Dewey, "they affect the working ideas, beliefs and conduct of all of us."…
3 pages (753 words)
Individualism in a Modern, Corporate Age: Essential Characteristics
But we need to go back further in history in order to understand the development of human consciousness and morals up to this point. It is easier to do this if we follow Dewey's demarcation of the Individualism into Old and New.…
7 pages (1757 words)
Individualism and Collectivism
Societies characterized as collectivist are commonly communist or communal societies.…
2 pages (502 words)
Holden’s individualism
The novel “Catcher in the Rye” presents the major conflict that exists between the protagonist Holden and the rest of the society. The teenage Holden views adults as phonies; he therefore wants to preserve the innocence of childhood and rebels against the onset of adulthood. He sees himself watching children playing a game in a “field of rye”, while he “stands at the edge of some crazy cliff” ready to catch the children and save them from falling. (Salinger 224). This is a symbolic representation of the innocence and lack of bias that exists in childhood as opposed to the…
3 pages (753 words)