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Looking back one can now discern at least four phases in Salingers career His early stories generally portray characters that feel estranged and marooned because of World War II The Catcher in the Rye and Salingers attempt in that book to deal with estrangement and isolation through a Zen-inspired awakening and lonely benevolence represent his second phase The third phase seen in Nine Stories involves bringing together the principles of Zen art and the tradition of the short story The fourth phase is one of which Salingers work becomes more and more experimental resulting in the philosophical mood of his last two books Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roof Beam Carpenters and Seymour An Introduction These four stages indicate that Salinger should be read as a writer who is seeking solutions as a writer who is trying to give direction to his thought based on an initial disturbing event that event being World War II Encarta CD-ROM The Catcher and the Rye appeared in a sober and realistic time a period when there was a general disenchantment with ideologies with schemes of solution of the world Salingers novel like the decade for which it has become emblematic begins with the words If you really want to hear about words that imply a full sickening realization that something has happened that perhaps most readers would not want to know about Salinger questions life survival and adolescence throughout the story That Salinger deals with these questions in one way or another points to a problem with The Catcher and the Rye that has often been ignored or simply not taken seriously that the climate of ideas surrounding the novel is dense and that the book is not just about the extended and anguished cries of a wise-guy adolescent whose main trouble is that he does not want to grow up Lundquist 81 The way Salinger sees the world is stated in the novels most
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