The isolato in the fiction of J.D. Salinger



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The purpose of this thesis is to examine J. D. Salinger's concept of isolation, to explore this theme through his characters, and to note his change in the treatment of the theme. Viewed as a whole, Salinger's characters seem to embody two patterns of isolation, the one representing the real and the other, the ideal. The former is that feeling of alienation resulting from a split between one's own beliefs and those of society and is usually accompanied by the symptoms of neurosis. The ideal form of. isolation, attempted by Seymour, consists in self-fulfillment which follows from contentment with one's own ideals and the realization of potentialities within a self-circumscribed world. Since isolation for Salinger's characters usually also incurs behavioral abnormality, psychopathology will be used to supplement the literary study of character. [...]