Holden Caulfield 's The Catcher Of The Rye

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The Catcher in the Rye Symbolism Essay J.D Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, is the story of Holden Caulfield’s loss of faith in society, and in particular adults. Salinger uses a number of symbols to demonstrate Holden’s rebellion against the phony facade of society and his desire to preserve the innocence of children, especially those he loves. Chief among them is Holden’s misinterpretation of Robert Burns’ poem “Comin thro’ the Rye”, wherein Holden mistakes the original line, “If a body meet a body”, with “If a body catch a body”. Holden fantasizes about being the “Catcher in the Rye” who saves millions of children from metaphorically falling off the edge of a cliff, in other words, losing their innocence and becoming phony adults, . Holden’s fixation with preserving innocence appears to emerge after the death of his brother Allie, three years earlier. For example, when Holden is asked what he likes by his sister Phoebe he responds with “I like Allie” even though Allie is dead. Holden idolizes his younger siblings, Allie and Phoebe, noting that children that still have their innocence and have not been corrupted by adulthood, an example of this is the way Phoebe still puts sentimental value in the pieces of the “Little Shirley Beans” record, and the way that Allie wrote poems on the inside of his baseball mitt so that “he’d have something to read when he was in the field and nobody was up at bat.” Holden’s wants to become the Catcher in the Rye (as he understands it).
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