Essay PreviewMore ↓
Throughout the novel, the reader is presented with various symbols. The symbols are clearly made evident by Holden’s constant repetition of their importance. The symbols are so important and their symbolism is directly related to the major themes of the novel.
Allie, Holden’s young brother who died several years earlier, was a key symbol throughout the story. When Holden remembers incidents from his past involving Allie, his attitude changes, such as when he writes the composition about Allie’s baseball glove or when Holden broke his hand after punching all of the windows after Allie died. He feels that Allie was one of the few people who were not phony in a world full of phonies. More importantly, Allie represents the innocence and childhood that Holden strives to find throughout his multi-day journey. In Holden’s opinion, Allie represents the purity that Holden looks for in the world. Holden admits that he admires Allie more than he admires Jesus, and even prays to Allie at one point, rather than Jesus. Allie is Holden’s role model, whom he judges the rest of the world according to. When Allie dies, it creates turbulence in Holden’s life.
At various points during the course of the novel, Holden inquires as to what happens to the ducks who are normally on a pond in Central Park, when winter comes and the water freezes. As he inquires, the answers he receives range from as farfetched answers as the idea that the ducks still remain there under the ice, just as the fish do, to uncaring answers such as a simple "What a stupid question!" remark. Despite the answer he gets, Holden is never satisfied with the reply. Holden doesn’t consciously realize that the ducks relate to him. Whether he will admit it or not, Holden is scared. He has been kicked out of numerous schools, he can’t get good grades, his parents are angry with him, and he spends his days wandering through New York City. He doesn’t know where he is going to go, reflecting his question about the ducks. Perhaps if he knew where the ducks went, he could follow their example.
While walking through New York City, Holden arrives at the Museum of Natural History. He remarks about the museum that he likes the glass cases that the museum officials place all of their exhibits in.
How to Cite this Page
"Symbols and Symbolism in The Catcher in the Rye." 123HelpMe.com. 14 Jul 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Catcher in the Rye - Symbolism In the Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger uses different examples of symbolism throughout the novel to let the reader into the thoughts of Holden Caulfield. Three major examples of his symbolism are the ducks with the frozen pond, Jane Gallagher, and the Museum of Natural History. Salinger uses all three of these symbols to represent the thoughts of the central character, Holden Caulfield. While Holden Caulfield is wondering around New York City, he asks many people what happens to the ducks when the pond freezes. The repetition of this question symbolizes what Holden is truly asking for himself. He isn't trying to find out what will happen... [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]
463 words (1.3 pages)
- The Etymology and Symbolism of Characters' Names in Catcher in the Rye Catcher in the Rye's pallid cover, adorned only with seven multicolored bands in its upper-left corner, is not what one would call eye-catching. Its reverse side lacks criticisms or reviews of any sort; in fact, it is bare of anything except a copyright date. Human beings are advised not to judge books by their covers, rather that they should look further than the obvious and try to apprehend the implied meaning.... [tags: Symbols Symbolism Catcher in the Rye]
1975 words (5.6 pages)
- Symbolism in The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye", published in 1951, is his best piece of work. The story is about a sixteen-year old young man by the name of Holden Caulfield. Holden is being expelled from Pency Prep and decides to leave three days early. He chooses to not go home, enabling his parents to receive the letter that his head master at Pency Prep wrote to his parents about his expulsion. He chooses to hang around in New York until Wednesday, when he is going to be able to return home.... [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]
826 words (2.4 pages)
- As the source of the book’s title, this symbol merits close inspection. It first appears in Chapter 16, when a kid Holden admires for walking in the street rather than on the sidewalk is singing the Robert Burns song “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye.” In Chapter 22, when Phoebe asks Holden what he wants to do with his life, he replies with his image, from the song, of a “catcher in the rye.” Holden imagines a field of rye perched high on a cliff, full of children romping and playing. He says he would like to protect the children from falling off the edge of the cliff by “catching” them if they were on the verge of tumbling over.... [tags: symbolism, literary analysis]
709 words (2 pages)
- Use Of Symbolism In “The Catcher In The Rye” and “The Great Gatsby” There are many writers like James Joyce, Patrick Kananach and Thomas Moore who use symbolism to convey and support indirect meaning in their writings. J.D. Salinger and F. Scott Fitzgerald both use symbolism in similar ways. In both “The Catcher In The Rye” and “The Great Gatsby”, the authors used symbolism to convey emotions and reality. In “The Catcher In The Rye”, J.D. Salinger uses Holden’s red hunting cap, the exhibits at the Museum of Natural History and “kings in the back row” as symbols whose meanings help tell the story.... [tags: Catcher In the Rye Great Gatsby]
802 words (2.3 pages)
- Many novels cannot be fully understood and appreciated if only read for face value, and J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye is no exception. The abundant use of symbolism in Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye is of such significance that it “proclaims itself in the very title of the novel” (Trowbridge par. 1). If the symbolism in this novel is studied closely, there should be no astonishment in learning that The Catcher in the Rye took approximately ten years to write and was originally twice its present length.... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye]
2836 words (8.1 pages)
- The novel “The Catcher in the Rye,” revolves around the protagonist Holden Caulfield as the story is told from his perspective. J.D. Salinger constructed Holden Caulfield as a cynical person who cannot accept to grow up. Throughout “The Catcher in the Rye,” J.D. Salinger uses symbolism to reveal and reinforce critical aspects of the protagonist Holden Caulfield. Three important aspects Holden acquired through Salinger’s use of symbolism are: his stubborn, uncompromising mentality; his softer, more caring respectful side; Holden’s cowardly way of acting and thinking.... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye]
1156 words (3.3 pages)
- “Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.” - Martin Luther King Jr. Symbols are not defined by words, but by the way one feels toward it. The emotional connection between a symbol and a person can only be showed through the heart and soul. In the Catcher in the Rye, J.D Salinger uses symbolism to show Holdens contradictory personality and his crisis with adolescences.... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]
797 words (2.3 pages)
- For many years people have argued about the inclusion of The Cather in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger in the high school english curriculum. This is such due to the inappropriate and adult oriented themes within If considered, many times within the novel the main character will face situations in which that the negative and vulgar themes will blossom into something meaningful that the reader can benefit from as a person and as a student. While the vulgarity and adult themes in The Catcher in the Rye are indeed inappropriate for adolescent students, ultimately its underlying themes of self discovery and possessing moral values provides life and ethical lessons that can be applied in the classro... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]
1097 words (3.1 pages)
- J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye: The Symbolism Behind the Book The Catcher in the Rye is written by J.D. Salinger. This book in particular is closely based on the life of Salinger. The symbols in this book are very highly developed and have a lot to do with the development of Holden's character and also explain how he feels about certain things in his life. The three most important symbols in this book are ducks in the pond in Central Park, the speech and discussion about digression at Mr.... [tags: Catcher Rye Salinger]
1471 words (4.2 pages)
Catcher in the Rye was a very powerful and symbolic book written from the position of a troubled teenager. The themes are clearly illustrated through the symbols, which Holden makes sure the reader recognizes.