Symbols On Catcher In The Rye
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Throughout the novel, the reader is presented with various symbols. The symbols are clearly made by Holdens constant repetition of their importance. The symbols are so important and their symbolism is directly related to the major themes of the novel.
Allie, Holdens young brother who died several years earlier, was a key symbol throughout the story. When Holden remembers incidents from his past involving Allie, his attitude changes, such as when he writes the composition about Allies baseball glove or when Holden broke his hand after punching all of the windows after Allie died. He feels that Allie was one of the few people who were not phony in a world full of phonies. More importantly, Allie represents the innocence and childhood that Holden strives to find throughout his multi-day journey. In Holdens opinion, Allie represents the purity that Holden looks for in the world. Holden admits that he admires Allie more than he admires Jesus, and even prays to Allie at one point, rather than Jesus. Allie is Holdens role model, whom he judges the rest of the world according to. When Allie dies, it creates turbulence in Holdens life.
At various points during the course of the novel, Holden wonders as to what happens to the ducks who are normally on a pond in Central Park, when winter comes and the water freezes. As he wonders, the answers he receives range from as farfetched answers as the idea that the ducks still remain there under the ice, just as the fish do, to uncaring answers such as a simple, “What a stupid question!” remark. Despite the answer he gets, Holden is never satisfied with the reply. Holden doesnt realize that the ducks relate to him. Whether he will admit it or not, Holden is scared. He has been kicked out of a lot of schools, he cant get good grades, his parents are angry with him, and he spends his days wandering through New York City. He doesnt know where he is going to go, reflecting his question about the ducks.