Catcher In The Rye - Symbolism Essay

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade August 2001

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¡°Where do the ducks go when it becomes winter?¡± This is an example of symbolism in this novel, which is filled with many more symbols, pertaining to Holden or his view on life. The ducks can be symbolizing Holden¡¯s impulse to run away from the world and its problem and start a new life somewhere else where he doesn¡¯t know anyone. Other issues in the novel such as the red hunting hat, the museum, Allie¡¯s glove, etc are all symbols in the book, which have a symbolic role for explaining and describing Holden¡¯s perspective on an issue. For example, Holden¡¯s red hat can be interpreted as his refuge, to hide himself from the rest of the world, or it can be describing his individuality when he still wears it knowing that everyone looks at him as sort of odd. Allie¡¯s baseball glove can mean his own mourning and feeling of loss over Allie¡¯s death.

All of these things have a symbolic meaning in the book than a literal. However, the most important symbol and main idea of the story, is the symbolic meaning if the title of the novel, The Catcher In the Rye. The meaning of the title may even be the inspiration of Holden¡¯s character. Catcher in the rye is what Holden describes as saving children from the corruption of adulthood, and throughout the book, the struggle against adulthood is what he conflicts with.

The first time the idea of a ¡°catcher in the rye¡± was introduced in the book was when Holden was walking along on a New York City block and a young child with his mother and father began singing. The parents seemed to be completely careless of what the child did, and the child was balancing on the curb very...