Catcher In The Rye

482 Words2 Pages
In The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger used symbolism throughout the novel. Four major symbols were the ducks, the Museum of Natural History, the hunting hat, and Jane Gallagher. They all represent Holden in a way, and Salinger uses these symbols very well. While Holden is wandering around New York City, he asks many people about what happens to the ducks in the pond when it freezes. I think this really symbolizes Holden. He isn’t really wondering about the ducks, he is wondering about himself. He wants to know what will happen to him when the weather gets really cold. He wants to know if he will have to go home, because he is really afraid to. This relates to the theme of going home, which is a recurring theme during the novel. The novel is basically his slow return to his home, and he is wondering whether he should go home or stay outside and freeze. The other two symbols, Jane Gallagher and the Museum of Natural History, both represent the theme of the past. Jane Gallagher was an old friend of Holden’s, and he mentions her many times during the story. He mentions that he will call her, but he never gets the nerve to. She is an important part of his past that he misses a lot, and he wants to go back and be with her again. The Museum of Natural History represents a different aspect of his past. While Jane Gallagher makes Holden want to return to his past, the Museum of Natural History sort of changes his mind. He remembers how he used to go there all the time, and how he was different, but the wax figures were always the same. He realizes that he can’t go back in time, because he is not the same as he used to be. He also realizes that he will never be the same as he used to be. One other important symbol is Holden’s hunting cap. I think that his cap represents security. He always seemed to be wearing the hat and every time he puts it on, he always mentions how it makes him feel better. It also represents his individuality. It makes him seem to be different from others since he is the only one to be wearing such a hat and people thinks that it is quite odd when they saw him wear it.

More about Catcher In The Rye

Open Document