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Grace Elizabeth Hale's A Nation of Outsiders: How the White Middle Class Fell in PDF

By Grace Elizabeth Hale

ISBN-10: 0195393139

ISBN-13: 9780195393132

At mid-century, american citizens more and more fell in love with characters like Holden Caulfield in Catcher within the Rye and Marlon Brando's Johnny in The Wild One, musicians like Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan, and activists just like the individuals of the scholar Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. those feelings enabled a few middle-class whites to chop freed from their very own histories and determine with those that, whereas missing financial, political, or social privilege, looked as if it would own in its place important cultural assets and a intensity of feeling no longer present in "grey flannel" the United States.

In this wide-ranging and vividly written cultural background, Grace Elizabeth Hale sheds gentle on why such a lot of white middle-class americans selected to re-imagine themselves as outsiders within the moment 1/2 the 20th century and explains how this remarkable shift replaced American tradition and society. Love for outsiders introduced the politics of either the recent Left and the hot correct. From the mid-sixties in the course of the eighties, it flourished within the hippie counterculture, the back-to-the-land stream, the Jesus humans move, and between fundamentalist and Pentecostal Christians operating to put their conventional isolation and separatism as strengths. It replaced the very that means of "authenticity" and "community."

Ultimately, the romance of the outsider supplied an artistic solution to an intractable mid-century cultural and political conflict-the fight among the need for self-determination and autonomy and the will for a morally significant and real existence.

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Additional info for A Nation of Outsiders: How the White Middle Class Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America

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He wakes up in the dark to find his former teacher “petting” or “patting” his head. Scared, Holden leaves. 15 In his travels, Holden finds phoniness—that contradiction between appearance and reality—everywhere, even in himself. ” But nothing for Holden is more contradictory than sex. “In my mind,” Holden confesses, “I’m probably the biggest sex maniac you ever saw”; he even fantasizes about “very crumby stuff,” “perverty” stuff, with a girl. The problem is that Holden believes he should not have sex or even “horse around” with girls he does not like, but with girls he does like, he wants to be careful.

It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. It isn’t education,” Antolini insists. “It’s history. ” Holden, tired and more than a little confused, just yawns. Art, the novel suggests when Holden wakes up to find his ex-teacher touching him, is not even enough for Mr. Antolini. And poetry has not saved Allie or even D. , who is also in his own way dead, abusing his talent for cash in Hollywood. 37 Catcher finds even less to use in the Marxist understanding of alienation as the separation of a person’s work from her sense of self.

The reader knows he can just go home. He has the key. Still, Holden is alienated, estranged from what his parents, teachers, and acquaintances—he does not seem to have any friends—expect of him. And Catcher is about more than the teenage angst the novel helped invent. At the start of the 1950s, few Americans were articulating this new mood of discontent, what the poet Allen Ginsberg, the writer Norman Mailer, the theorist Paul Goodman, the critic Susan Sontag, and others would later call the new consciousness, the great refusal, the new sensibility.

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A Nation of Outsiders: How the White Middle Class Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America by Grace Elizabeth Hale


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