Premium Essay

Cherished and Cursed: Toward a Social History of the Catcher in the Rye

In: Novels

Submitted By roott
Words 12326
Pages 50
4141- 4141---

Cherished and Cursed:Towarda Social History of The Catcher in the Rye


THE plot is brief:in 1949 or perhaps 1950, over the course of three days during the Christmas season, a sixteen-yearold takes a picaresque journey to his New YorkCity home from the third private school to expel him. The narratorrecounts his experiences and opinions from a sanitarium in California. A heavy smoker, Holden Caulfield claims to be already six feet, two inches tall and to have wisps of grey hair; and he wonders what happens to the ducks when the ponds freeze in winter. The novel was published on 16 July 1951, sold for $3.00, and was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. Within two weeks, it had been reprinted five times, the next month three more times-though by the third edition the jacket photographof the author had quietly disappeared. His book stayed on the bestseller list for thirty weeks, though never above fourth place.' Costing 75?, the Bantam paperback edition appeared in 1964. By 1981, when the same edition went for $2.50, sales still held steady, between twenty and thirty thousand copies per month, about a quarter of a million copies annually. In paperback the novel sold over three million copies between 1953 and 1964, climbed even higher by the 1980s, and continues to attract about as many buyers as it did in 1951. The durabilityof

The author appreciates the invitationof Professors Marc Lee Raphaeland Robert A. Gross to present an early version of this essay at the College of William & Mary, and also thanks ProfessorsPaul Boyer and John D. Ibson for their assistance. 1AdamMoss, "Catcher Comes of Age," Esquire, December 1981, p. 57; Jack Salzman, ed., intro. to New Essays on "The Catcher in the Rye" (New York:Cambridge UniversityPress, 1991), pp. 6, 7.




its appeal is astonishing. The

Similar Documents

Free Essay

English Isp

...<>. The piece “Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar: Understanding Cultural and Historical Context in an Iconic Text” by Iris Jamahl Dunkle is an excerpt from the Critical Insights: The Bell Jar provides an interesting perspective on how the postwar society has a great effect on a woman’s sexuality and sexual behaviour. For example, women were much more encouraged to engage in intimate relationships and wanted to have children. Dunkle explains that “there is nothing psychotic about any of this, and most women who lived through the 1950s [...] attitudes toward virginity and that once freed from this-the virginity itself and her attitude toward it- a woman could be free” (Dunkle). This observation suggests that women felt a tie or a debt to men and the only way to be freed was through sex. This passage is significant as it will aid me though writing my essay because it adds new viewpoint while analysing the sexual affairs that occur throughout the novel. Additionally, by studying Plath and her literature it is evident that “there is [a] particularly stubborn, uncompromising mind of [Plath] represented in Esther’s psyche”(Dunkle). This is crucial to consider through the writing process because if there are biographical components shown through Esther, it will help me to better understand the author’s neurosis in addition to the character’s...

Words: 1539 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

500 Extraordinary Islands

...500 extraordinary islands G R E E N L A N D Beaufort Sea Baffin Bay vi Da i tra sS t a nm De it Stra rk Hudson Bay Gulf of Alaska Vancouver Portland C A N A D A Calgary Winnipeg Newfoundland Quebec Minneapolis UNITED STATES San Francisco Los Angeles San Diego Phoenix Dallas Ottawa Montreal ChicagoDetroitToronto Boston New York OF AMERICA Philadelphia Washington DC St. Louis Atlanta New Orleans Houston Monterrey NORTH AT L A N T I C OCEAN MEXICO Guadalajara Mexico City Gulf of Mexico Miami Havana CUBA GUATEMALA HONDURAS b e a n Sea EL SALVADOR NICARAGUA Managua BAHAMAS DOMINICAN REPUBLIC JAMAICA San Juan HAITI BELIZE C a r PUERTO RICO ib TRINIDAD & Caracas N TOBAGO A COSTA RICA IA M PANAMA VENEZUELA UYANRINA H GU C U G Medellín A PAC I F I C OCEAN Galapagos Islands COLOMBIA ECUADOR Bogotá Cali S FR EN Belém Recife Lima BR A Z I L PERU La Paz Brasélia Salvador Belo Horizonte Rio de Janeiro ~ Sao Paulo BOLIVIA PARAGUAY CHILE Cordoba Santiago Pôrto Alegre URUGUAY Montevideo Buenos Aires ARGENTINA FALKLAND/MALVINAS ISLANDS South Georgia extraordinary islands 1st Edition 500 By Julie Duchaine, Holly Hughes, Alexis Lipsitz Flippin, and Sylvie Murphy Contents Chapter 1 Beachcomber Islands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Aquatic Playgrounds 2 Island Hopping the Turks & Caicos: Barefoot Luxury 12 Life’s a Beach 14 Unvarnished & Unspoiled 21 Sailing...

Words: 249855 - Pages: 1000