Spinning Through the Circle of Life Essay

Spinning Through the Circle of Life Essay

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People, places, songs, and even items such as a stuffed animal, a pillow, or a blanket can foster a person’s memory and take them back to a memory or feeling they hold dearly in their hearts. Often, such items of remembrance are used to bring back a person to their carefree and blissful childhood years. For many Americans, the Central Park Carousel in New York brings back memories of the entertainment of growing up in New York, and the wonderful memories of birthdays, family gatherings, and more. This historic carousel remains a timeless memory for those who enjoyed its delightful music, gleaming horses, and cheery atmosphere. A classic landmark in Central Park, the carousel has integrated itself into the hearts of Americans- never failing to bring a smile to ones face. In his classic American novel, The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger puts such memories into writing through the relationship between Holden and Phoebe, using the carousel as a primary symbol in the novel to enhance the overall theme.
Although the sweet scent of popcorn and the soft melody of the historic band organ of the carousel remain a classic part of Central Park in New York, the carousel’s historic features, such as its fifty two hand carved horses, are not the only aspects of why the carousel is so timeless (Central Park Conservancy). Salvatore Napolitano, 54, is an attendant and vendor at the carousel, and has been working at the carousel since 1970, when he was only fifteen years old. Giving up admission into three law schools for the chance to continue working at the carousel, Napolitano took pride in seeing the happiness it brings to those who are able to partake in its majestic ride (Martin). In an interview, he stated that one of the most heart wr...


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...easure, perpetrating all of the connotations of childhood innocence; a cheery place, filled with children admiring the carousel’s beauty without knowing all of the evil aspects of life, worries and troubles, and grief. In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger makes the Central Park Carousel far more meaningful, by incorporating the symbolism of a carousel using it to fit into the situation of the main character of the novel, Holden. By tying in the universal concept of the rough transition from childhood to adulthood, Salinger touches every reader, allowing them to view carousels in a completely different light. Similarly to what Salinger inferred in his novel, a carousel represents the path of one’s lifetime, spinning in a circle, from life to death with all of the bumps, joys, and obstacles in between, proving to be worthwhile after a difficult journey.

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