The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger - Symbolisim throughout the novel

Essay by DreamingAngel411High School, 11th gradeA, March 2004

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In various types of literature an author may use different symbols to help emphasize a point to the reader. J.D. Salinger uses symbolism frequently in his novel, The Catcher In The Rye to convey his point. At the very beginning of the novel J.D. Salinger starts out by symbolizing Holden Caulfield's situation for the rest of the novel when he is speaking to his teacher, Mr. Spencer about flunking out of school. Later on Holden is playing with a snowball outside his bedroom and abruptly decides not to throw it at anything outside. Finally towards the end of the novel Holden starts to think of the cases inside of the museum and how the displays inside them never change. The symbolism in The Catcher In The Rye is very important to understanding the novel.

Possibly the most important symbolic moment in The Catcher In The Rye is when Mr. Spencer is trying to give Holden advice to get throughout that difficult time and find out why Holden does not care about school.

Holden and Mr. Spencer were talking when Holden explains, "All he did was lift up the Atlantic Monthly off his lap and try to chuck it on the bed, next to me. He missed. It was only about two inches away, but he missed anyway." Mr. Spencer is trying to get through to Holden and apparently keeps failing. He attempts to throw something on the bed next to Holden three times, and misses every time. Mr. Spencer missing Holden consistently shows how much he is trying to get his point through to Holden and never does. Holden refers to the distance between he and Mr. Spencer as, "only about two inches away," this shows how close Mr. Spencer is to reaching Holden, but he never accomplishes his...