International Islamic University Malaysia
American Literature II
( ENGL 4060)
Seize the Day by Saul Bellow and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
Dr. Hardev Kaur
Ainie Lisa Binti Zali 1118782
Alya Ayuni Binti Helmilhusaini 1111098
America during the 1950s was at the peak of the world. It was a decade of economic booming, conformity and prosperity. Aftermath of the World War II and the Cold War, America was strengthening and searching for the American's way of life. This decade however was not free from problems as many Americans were content but many others were afflicted and grappled with financial difficulty. The springing up of technology, cars and other consumer goods made the Americans spent the years searching for more affluent life; the notion of'American Dream'. The novel "Seize the Day" and "The Catcher in the Rye" have portrayed the dominant issues of alienation and anxiety as a result in pursuit of American Dream during the post World War.
In the novel Seize the Day, Saul Bellow uses his protagonist of the story Wilhelm to adress the prevailing issues of alienation and anxiety in America during the 1950s. It is a decade of material prosperity however individual is desperately alone and isolated in the society that values money over human connection.
Wilhelm is fourty four years old, jobless and dependent. He is beaten with insurmountable problems in his life particularly regarding money. Despite his financial problem, Wilhelm's matrimony life is rather complicated. Thus, it forces him nowhere to live but under the same roof with his father in Gloriana Hotel in New York City; hoping to get financial aid from him. His trouble in finding job and making money make him feels psychologically crippled especially when nobody is able to offer him any helps. He gets disheartened in a world deprived of heart in which feelings and emotions are treated as trifling matters...