Congresos y reuniones científicas
The Scope of Justice: The Postwar American Youth in the View of J. D. Salinger
Jornada; XLIII Jornadas de Estudios Americanos; 2011
Institución organizadora:
Asociación Argentina de Estudios Americanos, Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educación de la Universidad de la República, Facultad de Humanidades de la Universidad de Montevideo
The outstanding diversity of American writings since World War II is testimony to the ideals of inclusiveness that so inform American culture. Postwar American writers refract a period in American history split by differences of wealth and social positioning, marked by the differences between the left and right, and divided by uncertainty and alienation. Underneath the increasing open-mindedness and affluence of the United States in the postwar years, writers of this period focus their attention on the overwhelming context that follows World War II, an America that meets younger (innocent) generations with new challenges to assimilate into a desolate, dishonest, and unjust context. J. D. Salinger, one among this group of postwar American writers, addresses these issues in his, probably, most renowned literary piece, The Catcher in the Rye (1951). This paper studies two interconnected themes that inform this writer’s treatment and vision of the years following World War II in America, namely those facets of society that have been tainted with phoniness and injustice and loss of innocence as realized in the main character’s struggle against falling into the adult world. These issues are examined in close connection to Hassan’s concept of recoil (in Hassan 1961), Goodman’s ideas regarding the process of growing up (in Goodman 1961) and the notion of “the scope of justice” (in Hafer and Olson 2003).