Holden Caulfield"s America to be a country of contrasts. Human being War II was over, and also the boys had actually come home, however to what? Financially, life had actually improved substantially for the median worker due to the fact that the good Depression of the 1930s, however inflation presented brand-new problems. The politics scene generally moved towards conservatism close to the finish of the 1940s and also into the 1950s (the time period of the novel), but there were noteworthy exceptions. The atom bomb, which numerous had taken into consideration a blessing when it quickly ended the war v Japan, was significantly seen together a curse. Culturally, the United says was both conservative and liberal yet leaning progressively to the right.

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Economy

The economic climate had definitely improved because the 1930s. The brand-new Deal program of chairman Franklin D. Roosevelt (thirty-second chairman of the united States, offer from 1933-1945) merged with the massive financial boost of civilization War II to traction the United says out of the nightmare of the great Depression. Between 1941 and 1945, the years of America"s involvement in the war, median individual weekly earnings had increased native $24.20 come $44.39. Workers faced a permanent workweek the forty-eight hours, yet that would soon be reduced to a forty-hour week, frequently with no loss of pay, adhering to an example collection by the federal government.

Women had contributed substantially to the war effort by filling jobs in industry as well as serving in the equipped forces. Some chose to continue with expert careers, vital step in the emancipation of women in the twenty century. Others decided to return to timeless roles together housewives, opening much more jobs because that the return men. This process took time, and the wait was daunting for plenty of individuals. The strain to be buffered by the GI Bill however exacerbated by inflation.

The GI invoice of Rights listed educational and also other financial methods for returning members of the armed forces. Literally 10s of thousands of organization personnel, who otherwise would not have actually been able to afford it, attended college. A severe problem, however, to be inflation. Throughout the war, the emergency Office of Price administration had kept expenses in check. After its elimination, inflation ran rampant. In some areas, food prices doubled in ~ a month. The cost of living increased by a third. Those ~ above a resolved income, including many attending colleges on the GI Bill, were especially strained.

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In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden"s family, and the households of the boys with whom Holden attends school, appear to have actually no jae won concerns. Holden"s family lives in an high value apartment in one affluent ar of new York City. Holden"s dad is a that company attorney. Holden assures us that all a lawyer does is "make a lot of dough and play golf and also play bridge and buy cars and drink Martinis and also look prefer a hot-shot." (Chapter 22) although his profession is probably more an overwhelming than what his son makes it the end to be, Mr. Caulfield is doing really well financially. He have the right to afford a live-in maid, Charlene, and his son appears to go from one personal school to one more with tiny concern for cost. Holden"s perspective is the of the upper-middle class. In the an initial chapter that the novel, the notices that the Spencers, who he is visiting, can"t bought a maid and also have to answer their door themselves — "They didn"t have too much dough" — indicating Holden"s socioeconomic background.