Symbolism In The Catcher In The Rye By J. D. Salinger

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Someone 's possessions can help other people understand their personality traits and persona. In J.D. Salingers “The Catcher in the Rye”, Salinger uses symbols such as a red hunting hat to represent comfort and protection against the cold winter weather and judgment from his grey hair. Furthermore, the carousel represents happiness and innocence because it is the only time in the book Holden is happy; when Phoebe is riding the carousal. Lastly, Allie’s baseball mitt represents Holden 's love for his deceased brother as well as Allie 's authentic uniqueness. J. D. Salinger uses symbolism throughout the novel to represent Holden’s quest for innocence.

To begin with, Allie’s baseball mitt has been shown to represent Holden’s affection towards
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This is the only time in the entire novel where Holden announces himself to be really happy. "I felt so damn happy all of a sudden, the way old Phoebe kept going around and around . . . It was just that she looked so damn nice, the way she kept going around and around, in her blue coat and all" (213). It is a symbol of the unproductivity during his childhood. Holden, who would like nothing to change desires for everything to stay the same. Holden now acknowledges this is a juvenile dream. At first Phoebe argues that she is too old to ride the carousel, but Holden buys her a ticket anyway. Holden declines to ride, which shows understanding but no acceptance to his status as an adult. The carousal seems to resemble Holden’s positive feelings toward the museum; the carousal never seems to change. It continues to move in circles and always stays the same while the children who ride it continue to grow older. This contributes to the assumption that Holden has a difficult time adapting to change; Holden finds changes uncomfortable and hard to cope with. Holden has been understood to have a hard time adapting to new environments. Holden watching Phoebe ride the carousal seems to produce pleasure for Holden. Holden enjoys watching Phoebe participating in child-like activities. Holden admires the innocence the children on the carousal and yearns for innocence throughout the rest of the world, not just with children. Another example is when he has come to terms with the idea that every child will eventually “fall” out of innocence and into adulthood. He understands that "if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it 's bad if you say anything to them" (211). Holden has shown some signs of growth. Holden cannot prevent them from doing it or save them, just as he cannot
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