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Non-Conformity of Catcher in the Rye and Self-Reliance

            Human beings all around the world are different in many ways. They all have their unique and physical characteristics, as well as different personalities. They each also have different ideas and thoughts on different topics. America is made up a great amount of diverse people with diverse, even conflicting opinions and ideas. Diversity is a major.
             component of the foundation of our country. The cliché of America as a salad bowl is extremely true. Every person is different and every person in his or her own way makes up a small part of America. Without the diversity of ideas and beliefs of Americans, the nation would not be nearly as successful as we are. A major similarity between Emerson's Self Reliance and Salinger's Catcher in the Rye is a non-conformist ideology that both exhibit, and the idea that one should choose their own individuality above conformity.
             Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye portrays Holden as a character who views conformity as evil. Conformist is a word associated with people who dismiss their own ideas and opinions and act the way most others do. In doing so, they believe others will respect them more because they are more like the majority of the population. Holden saw all those who tried to conform to society as phonies'. He stated, "At the end of the first act, we went out with all the other jerks for a cigarette. What a deal that was. You never saw so many phonies in all your life, everybody smoking their ears off and talking about the play so that everybody could hear how sharp they were."" (Salinger 126) Almost everyone in the novel acted as phonies according to Holden's definition. He too in many instances was forced to conform to society. He said, "The Navy guy and I told each other we were glad to have met. Which always kills me. I'm always saying, Glad to have met you, to someone I'm not at all glad I met. If you wanna stay alive, though, you have to say that stuff.

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