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catcher in the rye: colors and what they mean

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Ali Zilahy

on 11 January 2013

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Transcript of catcher in the rye: colors and what they mean

Holden is yellow throughout most of the book. Holden is yellow, because he is caught in the middle of adulthood and childhood. He's stuck between the two. It is like he's falling down a whole and will never hit the bottom.

" This kind of fall i think you're riding for - it's a special kind of fall, a horrible kind. The man fallin g isn't permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom. He just keeps falling and falling. (Salinger 187)"

"It's no fun to be yellow. Maybe I'm not all yellow. I don't know. I think maybe I'm just partly yellow and partly the type that doesn't give much of a damn if they lose their gloves. (Salinger 89)"

"I'm one of these very yellow guys. I try not to show it, but I am. (Salinger 88)" Red in people Jane Gallagher:
"Anyway it was the closest we ever got to necking after a while she got up and went in and put on the red and white sweater she had, that knocked me out...( Salinger 79)"

"...and he was sitting there, about a hundred and fifty yards behind me watching me tee off. that's the kind red hair he had.(Salinger 38)"

James Castle:
"...There was old James Castle laying on the stone steps and all. He was dead, and his teeth and blood were all over the place, and nobody would even go near him. (Salinger 170)"

All of the people were seen as pure and not phony in Holden's eyes. That's what makes them RED. With all of these people, Holden knew them in youth and they weren't "corupted" yet. Childhood Transition Green in People Allie:
" My brother Allie had this left handed fielder's mitt. He was left-handed. The thing that was descriptive about it, was that he had poems written all over the finger and the pocket and everywhere. In green ink. (Salinger 38)"

"She had a green dress on underneath. (Salinger 94)"

In class, we said that green is a symbol of adulthood and growing up, but you can aslo look at it as innocence and childhood. The green dress. Holden imagines Sunny buying the dress and no one suspecting that she;s a hooker. Holden sees her as a child who has lost her innocence. As for the green ink on the glove, Allie had written peoms all over his lefthanded mitt so that he won't be bored in the feild. Allie was just an child and he just wanted to keep himself engaged in something when the game wasn't engaging. Blue in People Sally Hayes:
"...they gave Sally this little butt-twitcher of a dress. (Salinger 129)"

"She had on these blue pijamas with red elephants on the collar.(Salinger 163)"

"It was just she looked so damn nice, the way she kepy going around and around , in her blue coat and all. (Salinger 213)"

"Boy it began to rain like a bastard... My hunting hat gave me a lot of protection, in a way, but i got soaked anyway. i didn't care though. (Salinger 213)"

What the Colors Mean Red: Childhood, purity, phonylessness,
Yellow: In between, stuck, transitioning, lost, falling
Green: adulthood, maturity, innocence, childhood, phonyness
Blue: an alternitive way to adulthood, growing up, maturing, moving on, enlightenment, an "ah ha" moment
Colors in Catcher in the Rye Yellow in People Adulthood Alternative route to adulthood
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