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Symbolism

Catcher in the Rye
by

Eshani Goradia

on 14 January 2013

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Transcript of Symbolism

“You know those ducks in that lagoon right near Central Park South? That little lake?By any chance do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over? Do you happen to know, by any chance?”(60)
"Its tougher for the fish, the winter...than it is for the ducks..."(82).
"The fish...they live right in the ...ice. Its their nature."(83).
"If you was a fish, Mother Nature'd take care of you...you don't think them fish just die."(83).
"
“Every time I came to the end of a block and stepped off the goddam curb, I had this feeling that I’d never get to the other side of the street. I thought I’d just go down, down, down, and nobody’ d ever see me again. Boy did it scare me. You can’t imagine. I started sweating like a bastard-my whole shirt and underwear and everything.”(198).
“Every time I’d get to the end of the curb I’d make believe I was talking to my brother Allie. I’d say “ ‘Allie, don’t let me disappear don’t let me disappear”(198). Duck's in the Lagoon? Ducks in the Lagoon Carousel Carousel The carousel and the golden ring demonstrate Holden's newly gained understanding of maturity. He describes Phoebe as reaching out for a golden ring, which symbolizes one’s hopes and dreams. The risk of falling from the horse represents the pitfalls in life and danger certain dreams can pose to one’s self. Holden describes reaching out for the ring as something parents should permit, since all youths have to grow up eventually. “Then she sat on this big brown beat up looking horse. Then the carrousel started, and I watched her go around and around. There were only about five or six kids on the ride, and the song the carrousel was playing was “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”.(211).

“All the kids kept trying to grab for the gold ring, and so was old Pheobe, 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. (212).

“It’s raining. It’s starting to rain.”(212). RED HUNTING HAT "It was this red hunting hat, with one of those very, very long peaks....It only cost me a buck. The way I wore it, I swung the old peak way around to the back--very corny, I'll admit, but I liked it that way. I looked good in it that way" (17,18). -Holden finds the hat after he loses the foils. During this time, Holden is vulnerable and maybe even frightened. However, the hat comforts him. Symbolism Catcher Allie's Baseball Mitt Allie's Mitt The Catcher in the Rye Symbol-Significance Holden explains that "he bought [Phoebe] a record ... [but] broke it on the way home" and Phoebe responds with "I'm saving them" (163). "I was sitting on the washbowl next to where Stradlater was shaving...I still had my red hunting hat on, with the peak around to the back and all. I really got a bang out of that" (27). "I pulled the peak of my hunting hat around to the front all of a sudden, for a change. I was getting sort of nervous, all of a sudden. I'm Quite a nervous guy. 'Listen, where ya going on your date with her'" (34). "I put on my pajamas and bathrobe and my old hunting hat, and started writing the composition" (37). (after fight with Stradlater) "Then I got up. I couldn't find my goddam hunting hat anywhere. Finally, I found it. It was under the bed. I put it on, and turned the old peak around to the back, the way I liked it" (45). I put my red hunting hat on, and turned the peak around to the back, the way I liked it, and then I yelled at the top of my goddam voice, 'Sleep tight, ya morons!'"(52). "My ears were nice and warm, though. That hat I bought had earlaps in it and I put them on--I didn't give a damn how I looked Nobody was around anyway" (53). "But it was freezing cold, and I took my red hunting hat out of my pocket and put it on--I didn't give a damn how I looked. I even put the earlaps down" (88). "I took my old hunting hat out of my pocket while I walked, and put it on. I knew I wouldn't meet anybody that knew me, and it was pretty damp out" (122. "Then I took my hunting hat out of my coat pocket and gave it to her. She likes those kind of crzy hats" (180). "My hunting hat really gave me quite a lot of protection, in a way, but I got soaked anyway" (213). "But while I was sitting down, I saw something that drove me crazy. Somebody'd written 'Fuck you' on the wall. I drove me damn near crazy. I thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it, and how they'd wonder what the hell it meant...I kept wanting to kill whoever'd written it....I rubbed it off anyway, finally" (201). I went down by a different staircase, and I saw another 'Fuck you' on the wall. I tried to rub it off with my hand again, but this one was scratched on with a knife or something....If you had a million years to do it in, you could rub out even half the 'Fuck you' signs in this world. Its impossible"(202). In the museum: "It was so nice and peaceful. Then, all of a sudden, you'd never guess what I saw on the wall. Another 'Fuck you.' It was written with a red crayon or something, right under the glass part of the wall, under the stones" (204). "That's the whole trouble. You can;t ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any. You may think there is...but once you get there...somebody'll sneak up and write 'Fuck you' right under your nose....I think, even, if I ever die, and the stick me in a cemetary, and I have a tombstome and all...right under that it'll say 'Fuck you'" (204). Quotations-Support Interpretation is based off the song "Comin Thro’ the Rye" by Robert Burns
Misunderstands one of the lyrics and thinks "meet" is actually "catching"
Ironic because Holden's intent is to be the person who "catches" the innocent children before they fall off the cliff and diverse into adulthood
The song eventually builds to the point, when it says "meet", that the negative aspects of adulthood are fine, which is exactly what Holden wants to protect children from The field in which children roam around represents their carefree personalities, innocence, and purity.
The cliff represents the transition phase-the current phase for Holden
His goal is to be the "catcher", or to save the children from the profanity of adulthood, and to prevent children from entering the dilemma Holden is in -places of Holden's childhood where we wants to find security and peace
-The "f" words themselves represent the corrupted and impure adult world. -impossible to rub off
-he realizes that children will have to grow up and he will not be able to preserve their innocence forever.
-realizing that erasing is impossible is his step in realizing childhood cannot last forever and children must grow up. He himself must also grow up -as we know, he wants to be the catcher in the rye. He does not want children to be maturing sexually or emotionally. He wants to preserve their purity and does not want them to face what he is feeling. He does not want them to be in the same dilemma.
-his reaction to these signs show his inner dilemma The question of where the ducks go when the pond freezes symbolizes Holden’s fear of losing his identity in the cold, cruel world.

Ducks symbolize adapting to change , since they fly away for the winter.

Fish symbolize another way of adapting to change, since they stay in the lagoon and survive under the ice.

Both symbols demonstrate Holden's inability to confront change and develop, as a youth struggling to become a man. Broken Record The partly frozen and unfrozen lake symbolizes the changes Holden is experiencing, as he emerges from adolescence into adulthood. He is in a transitions stage. "I'd already taken off my hunting hat, so as not to look suspicious or anything"(157). -visiting Phoebe We notice that...
-Holden refrains from wearing the hat in public which shows his low confidence and insecurity.
-He puts this hat on when he is under stress, believing that the hat will serve as protection
-wears hat when he knows people are not looking-it is the only time he shows his own individuality and uniqueness
-When returning home, Holden gives the hat to Phoebe as a source of protection from the corrupt adult world. (Because he plans on going away) -Allie and Phoebe have red which is why Holden feels so connected to the hat.
-Holden still feels like Allie and Phoebe (also their youth and innocence) are a part of him through the hat.
-could also interpret the red as danger and violence, which reflects the internal conflicts and dilemmas in Holden's mind. -Holden feels that there is something from which he must escape, just as if something were hunting him. He feels that he is hunted by the adult world which is trying to capture him and he is stuck in a stage between young-adulthood and adulthood.
-Holden also becomes the hunter when he feels like it is his duty to hunt adults and "kill" them.
ex/ After he finds "fuck you" written in Phoebe's school
"I kept wanting to kill whoever'd written it....I rubbed it off anyway, finally" (201).
-Holden wants to hunt these adults and protect the innocent children from their world. He does not want other children to pass through the phase that he is passing. - The record represents Holden's attempt to
preserve Phoebe's childhood.
- As it is broken, Holden's wish to preserve
Phoebe's childhood is also lost.
- Yet, Phoebe keeps the record, although
broken, to console Holden.
- Thus, the broken record serves to display
the futility of attempting to retain
childhood in an individual. When worn with the peak at the back...
-Baseball catchers wear their cap backwards (similar to mitt) This shows that Holden wants to be the catcher and take Allie's position.
-Holden wears the hat on his quest to save innocent children.
-The hat helps Holden gain courage to run away and protect himself against the phoney and perverted adult world.
-shows is individuality and uniqueness
-does not live in fear and does what he loves
-becomes outspoken and rebellious By Eshani, Rachel, Maria, Sakshum, Ram, Raj, Soham
+Dora and Friends
4A Honors English The hat does more than deciding Holden’s personality; it also shields him and gives him
protection. The hat shields him from events he does not want to endure, may have been hard for Holden to survive without it "I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around--nobody big, I mean--except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff--I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all" (173). When Holden goes to the Radio City Music Hall to watch a play, he finds himself extremely interested in the kettledrum player.
This shows how he is always interested in the minor details, and how he ignores the bigger picture.
This is related to the ducks because it portrays how he is comparable to a child.
Holden relates adulthood to not wanting to answer questions that he fears of answering himself. He looks at the joy of life rather than hoping for a beneficial future.
He asks numerous questions in the novel, but he fails to try to answer them himself.
Thus, the music hall symbolizes Holden's unwillingness to accept the truth. -Phoebe puts it on Holden's head she accepts the way he him as he is.
-same with the lady at the nightclub, he felt accepted (in most places he's been pushed around and excluded) Color Hunting Aspect Allie's Mitt Analysis "I have a feeling that you're riding for some kind of a terrible, terrible fall. This fall I think you're riding for--it's a special kind of fall, a horrible kind. The man falling isn't permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom. He just keeps falling and falling. The whole arrangement's designed for me who, at some time or other in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn't supply them with" (186-187). Museum Museum and Mummies "My brother Allie had this left-handed fielder's mitt...he had poems written all over the fingers and the pocket and everywhere...so that he'd have something to read when he was in the field...He was two years younger than I was, but he was about fifty times as intelligent. He was terrifically intelligent...He was also the nicest, in lots of ways" (38).
"[Jane] read a lot of poetry and all. She was the only one, outside my family, that I ever showed Allie's baseball mitt to, with all the poems written on it. She'd never met Allie or anything, because that was her first summer in Maine--before that, she went to Cape Cod--but I told her quite a lot about him" (77) Holden chooses to write about Allie's mitt for Stradlater
This description has a brighter and warmer mood than anything else Holden has described
Holden clearly shows his emotional side and the impact that Allie's death has on him through the mitt


Aside from his siblings, Jane is the only person that Holden looks towards in a warm and happy way, clearly bringing out Holden's emotional side
Holden also values Jane since he constantly talks about calling her up, showing how important Allie's mitt and Allie himself are to Holden Quotations C Quotations Analysis Holden likes things to stay the same, evidenced by his strong interest in mummies
This further displays his fervor for a similar youth where things stay the same

Holden derives his happiness from the thought that things do not change from his time as a child
This signifies further Holden's will for a pure, innocent, and consistent youth for Phoebe

The museum never changes as time passes; this is exactly what Holden wants
He does not exactly wish for Phoebe to feel different so that she remains youthful, such as an innocent child. "'You know how the Egyptians buried their dead...they wrapped their faces up in these cloths that were treated with some secret chemical. That way they could be buried in their tombs for thousands of years and their faces wouldn't rot or anything'" (203).

"I knew that whole museum routine like a book. Phoebe went to the same school I went to when I was a kid, and we used to go there all the time...I get really happy when I think about it" (119-120)

"I kept thinking about old Phoebe going to that museum on Saturdays the way I used to. I thought how she'd see the same stuff I used to see and how she'd be different every time she saw it...Some things should stay the way they are...I know thats impossible, but its too bad anyway" (122) THE END -the record faces the same damage Holden faces and is accepted by its recipient Hat --> Identity Radio City-
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