This is who you should be! Explains conformity throughout the book The Catcher in the Rye and the movie Fame.

Essay by inasunnydazeHigh School, 12th grade January 2003

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Conformity is an individual changing according to certain standards. In the movie Fame, directed by Alan Parker, and the book Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salanger, the pressure to conform is ever present. Teenagers in high school face the most pressure to conform, this pressure comes from different forces, including parents, teachers, and their peers.

An example of such pressure is when Doris's mother wants Doris to conform to the way she wanted her to be. This is evident when Mrs. Finsecker tries to force Doris to become a singer, even though Doris cannot and does not want to sing. Mrs. Finsecker also wants Doris to stay young and innocent. This can be seen when Mrs. Finsecker makes Doris wear the little pink dress for the birthday party, and gets mad when Doris stays out all night with Ralph. This pressure to push for conformity can also be found in Holdens' parents.

They want Holden to stay in school and to get and education, which Holden himself doesn't really want to do, but his parents keep sending him to different schools, even after he keeps getting kicked out. Parents try to influence the way their children think.

Another group that puts pressure on teenagers to be a certain way is teachers. An example is when Mrs. Sherwood comments on the way Leroy talks. Mrs. Sherwood is trying to get Leroy to conform to the way the other students talk. Mr. Spencer tries to conform Holden's way of thinking by telling him about how he should not be failing classes and about thinking for his future. The music teacher tries to get Bruno to conform to the regular way of playing the piano, like everyone else, not by using the synthesizers.

One of the biggest forms of conformity comes from one's peers. For example at Pency Prep all the students go to the football game, because "you were supposed to commit suicide or something if old Pency didn't win" but Holden does not conform like everyone else does, mostly because he doesn't fit in. This is similar to when the students were singing in the lunchroom and Doris and Montgomery were outside the lunchroom, because they did not fit in. Another example is when Montgomery was going to say he was "gay" to the class for the assignment in drama, but Doris told him not to because Doris knew that certain individuals would make fun of him because he is different, and not conforming to society like everyone else is.

Conforming to something that one isn't makes that person phony. Holden believes that most individuals are phony, so one can conclude that most individuals are conformists. Holden does not want to grow up and conform to the world because he doesn't like the phonies in it.