About the Book
Growing up for some adolescents is a source of anxiety. They dread relinquishing childhood dependency and assuming responsibility. Sometimes they feel completely overwhelmed by these problems. In these cases, previous blighting experiences make them hostile or excessively submissive.
From the birth an individual is influenced by the social environment and he influences it. The ‘law of conditioning’ plays a significant role in fashioning human personality. The influences of home, the freedoms and constraints of society and processes of conflict, co-operation, accommodation and isolation have distinct contribution in the process of conditioning. The social forces, social problems and social situations hamper or help an individual towards the realization of his aspirations. Many of the problems arise from gender discrimination and social set-up or structure.
It is against this backdrop the author has tried to assess the adolescent behaviour in the works of Katherine Anne Porter and J.D. Salinger. Katherine Anne Porter’s later stories and J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye most appropriately suggest the modern predicament of alienation. Feeling isolated the hero distrusts truth, justice and love and negates everything conforming to a value-oriented society.
Salinger’s main concern is with the dehumanizing effects of urbanization and technological developments on the psyche of an individual. The writer feels that an incessant striving for wealth, luxuries and comforts of technological civilization lead the individual to spiritual vacuity.
The individual in Ms. Porter’s works desires to understand the past and compares it to the failures of modern man in a mechanized, chaotic world. Ms. Porter longs for the pastoral world of the past but mocks its inadequacy to meet the contemporary challenges. This paradox of illusion is essential to her art and philosophy of life.
The book would be highly useful not only for students and researchers of English Literature but also for students and researchers of Psychology and Psycho-Therapists.