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The Catcher in the Rye: Major Symbols
The Catcher in the Rye is a brilliant novel written by J. D. Salinger. The story is set around in the 1950s. J.D. Salinger tells us a story about 17 years old Holden Caulfield and his journey to New York. Holden is a protagonist and Salinger shows the transition from innocent childhood into phony adulthood. In this novel, a lot of important themes are considered. For example, a coming-of-age, death and alienation. The author uses symbolism to convey these themes to the reader. Symbols are figures, objects, characters used to make the readers understand the abstract idea. Salinger uses symbolism all the time in this novel. Here are some of the main symbols in this novel:
-Holden’s red hunting hat is one of the most important symbols in the novel and one of the most recognizable symbols from twentieth-century American literature. This hat is a symbol of Holden’s uniqueness. The hat is quite strange and it shows that Holden wants to be different from other people. However, he is very shy about the hat and he often doesn’t wear it if he is going to be around people he knows. We can also see that the hat is the same color as Allie’s and Phoebe’s hair. Holden may associate it with the innocence. - Another important symbol is Allie's Baseball Glove. It shows Holden’s love to his dead brother and Allie's uniqueness. Allie covered the glove with poems written in green ink. He made it because he wanted to have something to read when things got boring in the baseball field. Holden has shown it only to Jane Gallagher.
- The Ducks in the Central Park Lagoon. Holden wants to know where the ducks go during the winter. This moment shows us the curiosity of youth and a joyful willingness to meet the mysteries of the world. It is very important because he really needs this willingness in other aspects of his life. In addition, the ducks represent that some vanishings are only temporary. The pond is also an important symbol because it is partly frozen. It is between two states just as Holden is between childhood and adulthood.
- The “Catcher in the Rye”. The author represents us, Holden singing the song “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye. When Holden is asked about his life, he answers with the imagination from this song. He imagines a field of rye perched high on a cliff, full of children romping and playing. He wants to protect the children from falling off the edge by “catching” them. Holden wants to catch children before they fall into the adult world.
The Catcher in the Rye is a brilliant novel written by J. D. Salinger. The story is set around in the 1950s. J.D. Salinger tells us a story about 17 years old Holden Caulfield and his journey to New York. Holden is a protagonist and Salinger shows the transition from innocent childhood into phony adulthood. In this novel, a lot of important themes are considered.