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The Catcher in the Rye-Symbolism

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by

Kayla Rivera

on 12 May 2014

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Transcript of The Catcher in the Rye-Symbolism

Obscenities on the wall
- Obscenities on the walls makes Holden angry

- Sees profanity as something phony; a corrupting influence.

- Holden thinks about Phoebe

- He wants to become the "Catcher in the Rye"

- Holden tries to clean up the walls, but there are too many

"You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any." (Salinger 204)
What is Symbolism?
The Catcher in the Rye-
Symbolism
By: Kayla, Isabella, Nicole, and Kailey


- An object or reference used to provide meaning to the writing beyond what is written on the page.

- Can be obvious or hidden.

- Purpose is for the reader to look beyond the surface to build a deeper connection.
The meaning of the title, "the Catcher in the Rye"
- Holden experienced a loss of innocence at a young age and wanted to protect children from that.
- He decided that he wanted to become the "Cather in the Rye."

"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all...And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do is I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff..." (Salinger 173)
Ducks in Central Park
- Symbol of Holden's discomforts.
- He buys the hat after the mistake of losing the fencing equipment.
- Hat is worn when Holden is worried about the people around him (hiding place and protection from the outer world).

"My hunting hat really gave me a lot of protection, in a way, but I got soaked anyway. I didn't care though." (Salinger 212)
Red Hunting Hat
- Representation of how Holden sees himself (an outsider in society).

- When people say "who cares about the ducks," it is similar to how people feel about Holden.

- Holden wants to know where the ducks go; if they can find a better place, maybe Holden can as well.


Basis of the museum's appeal to Holden
- Everything in the museum remains the same
- Presents Holden with a vision of life he can understand
- Symbolizes Holden's fear of change
- Holden wants everything to be easily understandable

"The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move." (Salinger 121)
The child Holden saw while walking on New York Street
- Child symbolizes the innocence that all children possess before they reach adulthood.

- Child was under the protection of his parents.

- Holden saw this child as a relation to himself and his childhood.

- Innocent child helps Holden not to be so depressed.

- Holden wants to prevent premature loss of innocence.
The Golden Ring
- Symbolizes the endless reach towards growing older.

- Holden is truly happy only when he watches Phoebe play.

- The Golden Ring represents the falling of children's innocence.

- Holden faces the realization and responsibility of becoming an adult.

“ All the kids kept trying to grab for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she’d fall off the goddam horse, but I didn’t say anything or do anything. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it’s bad if you say anything to them.” ( Salinger, 211)


Allie's Baseball Mitt
- Brings back memories of Allie to Holden.

- Writing about Allie's baseball mitt shows Holden's sensitive side.

- Mitt represents how Holden can't let go of the past (unable to move forward).

"So what I did, I wrote about my brother Allie's baseball mitt. It was a very descriptive subject..." (Salinger 38)
Alcohol
- An escape for Holden

- Refrains Holden from confronting his problems.

- Even though Holden is "enjoying" himself, he cannot escape his problems.

- Holden is always leaving places for certain reasons only to end up in the same situation.
Snowball Fight
- Symbol of innocence

- High school students are still participating in childish games.

"It was very childish, but everybody was really enjoying themselves." (Salinger 35)

- When Holden doesn't throw a snowball, it shows he isn't willing to corrupt what is innocent/pure.
Holden's writing to Phoebe
- Phoebe is the only person Holden says goodbye to.

- Holden relates to and trusts mostly children (innocent/pure).

- Phoebe is one of the rare people who Holden does not see as a phony (his view on world is unstable).

Thank you for listening!
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