Catcher In The Rye Symbolism Essay

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In our broken and sinful world, there are many repercussions of anxiety and fear which lead to the ultimate idea that 19 million American adults suffer from cases of severe depression. Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of Catcher in the Rye, suffers depression, which leads to conflict between him and society during his junior and senior year in high school The author, J.D. Salinger, uses symbolism and imagery to portray Holden’s lack of confidence due to his disruptive and frazzled childhood. Symbolism in Catcher in the Rye shows what the characters value and how they perceive life. The ducks symbolize Holden’s curiosity as he strives to discover himself and find his motivation in the world. Holden asks Old Horwitz, “ Do you happen…show more content…
The death of his brother, Ally, flipped his world upside down. The author creates the image of Ally being the most intelligent person that Holden has ever met, but he “got Leukemia and died when we were up in Maine…”(Salinger 43). Although this imagery paints a picture of sorrow in his life, Holden confronts death throughout the book. Holden blames this as one of his many factors of depression. Holden becomes subject to a routine and soon events in his life appear and it wrecks his world. Instead of having strength in himself he loses all confidence because he can’t find purpose or strength anywhere in the world. If he had a relationship with his parents, he could rely on them, but sadly, he would rather venture alone in his depressing personal hell. Holden’s forgetful demeanor and mindset results in multiple careless actions. On his way home from a fencing tournament he projects, “I left all the goddam foils and stuff on the subway”(Salinger 24). Holden creates a vivid picture of his forgetful life which ultimately leads to a destructive life. He becomes responsible for having no life because he will not explore any life. This is fitting because it all ties into the main cause of his self-conflict and confidence. He projects the word “left,” implying leaving all his stuff everywhere, creating an image of disorganization. Holden has many opportunities in his life to turn his
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