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Social Classes In The Catcher And The Rye

2397 words - 10 pages

I sit waiting in my roommates’ apartment here in Canton—I live there as well. I am strapped for cash waiting on my care box (a box full of food and goodies) and an envelope full of cash from my parents. I’m a college student—and I depend on parents for my money and everything else—well for the most part. So I don’t want to eat a lot of my roommates’ food because he is already allowing me to stay here pretty much free of charge although I do pay. I look through my last box of goodies to see if I could find anything. I found some sardines. If you know anything about sardines you know they have this stench that is unbearable and in most cases you will have to mop the entire house with a huge amount of bleach to eradicate the smell. And also they are usually a cuisine of the poor class because of their cheapness. So I eat. Also Marcus eats. He is eating a huge steak—a steak from Texas road house—a restaurant with somewhat authentic Texas food—I say somewhat because I’m not exactly sure what authentic Texans eat— he received the steak free of charge because of Veterans day. Marcus of course offers me a piece. I delightfully reject his offer. And he finally goes into this whole spiel on how I expect him to feel when he is eating steak and I have sardines for dinner. The first thing I think about is—the amount of money my parents are sending is probably more than what he makes in a six month period of time—but I always seem to blow it off quickly on fast-food and whatever else. Even though my family is well off, I still gladly ate a piece of the steak in which I did want a piece but I did not want him to know that I wanted a piece. The catcher and the rye express this same social class and also it dares to overturn them. When Holden removes his fancy luggage out of sight in a means to diminish the aspect of the value of money, he learns that the roommate wants to be portrayed as having money because he puts the suitcase back in plain sight for people to make the assumption that these pricey suitcases belong to the roommate. But who creates such a line—a line that separates the poor from the rich, the needy from the greedy, the haves from the have-nots. We do. And just like me, Holden contradicts himself on such an issue. Holden doesn’t work at all and yet he receives a hefty amount of money from his grandmother among other resources. A Marxist critic would be undone with the antics that Holden does during his Manhattan hiatus. Holden talks as if he cares for the less fortunate like the nuns on the train or his first roommate but he spends money so frivolously. The value money is not based on the value of work but rather based on the pretentious idea to get rid of it as soon as possible. Which ironically enough Holden himself does not have any money but spends as if he has a steady stream of cash flow. Holden Is seemingly afraid of adulthood—or at least the idea of it. The idea that one has to conform and be like everyone else is a...

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