How Does Holden Use Symbols In Catcher In The Rye

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Often in a novel, symbols and motifs are used to give major characters an identity and a complex personality, while letting us in on their thoughts. In The Catcher in the Rye, J.D Salinger uses symbols to create Holden's intricate character and to let us understand him. This essay will talk about how Salinger uses symbols in order to depict Holden's character and his thoughts.
Karl Marx stated “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people” (Karl Marx Quotes) in his famous work, Deutsch–Französische Jahrbücher. This excerpt perfectly depicts Holden's views and thoughts on Religion and The Nuns. Holden has the illusory superiority complex and
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When asked by Phoebe what he likes, Holden can only think of two things; the nuns and James Castle. This is because of the phoniness of people and society and Holden's defiance against society. Holden believes that all adults/phonies are deceiving, materialists who only act in avarice and an arrogant self-loathing manner. On the contrary, non-phonies are altruistic, compassionate people, who always stay true to themselves. Therefore, Holden can't like phony things and admires the Nuns for their benevolent work. The nuns receive little to no benefits for their work, yet they work compassionately and diligently. Holden is impressed by their faith and their lack of greed for money and attention. Holden also holds James Castle in high regard and considers him to be a virtuous person. James Castle was bullied after refusing to apologise to the hotshot (phoney) of his class. James stood his ground, and instead of apologizing and taking back his words, he committed suicide. Holden was greatly traumatized by this event, however, he was also deeply amazed by James’s defiance and strong will. Instead of phonily asking for forgiveness, he stuck to his opinion and beliefs and refused to give in. By killing himself instead of expressing repentance, James Castle was committing the ultimate act of staying true to himself.…show more content…
Holden gets depressed seeing them only eating toast and coffee while he's enjoying bacon and eggs. This is because Holden senses an barrier between him and the nuns which makes him feel isolated and depressed [3]. These barrier are created by difference in lifestyle. Holden had already addressed interpersonal barriers and people trying to find common ground to shorten the distance and avoid ostracization with people, when he talks about Arthur Childs persistently trying to find whether Holden was Christian or not. Trying to reconcile the interpersonal barrier between the nuns, Holden donated money to the nuns. This feeling of guilt and sympathy for The Nuns, show that Holden has regard for others, even beyond his
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