Symbolism In Catcher In The Rye

Decent Essays

Growing Pains “Where has my heart gone An uneven trade for the real world Oh I... I want to go back to Believing in everything and knowing nothing at all” ( Evanescence) This rings true to everyone who hears it because there is beauty in the simplicity of a child’s life. Even when transitioning from stages in life, the wanting to go back to the days of purity is an inevitable feeling. In The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger uses motifs, symbols, and extended metaphors to convey the theme that innocence can not be prevented. Saliger uses motifs which allows the reader to understand vulnerability from being shown into the adult world through the use of the hunting hat and estrangement from his surroundings by the migration of the ducks. …show more content…

J.D. Salinger uses antithetical symbols to highlight the message that childhood purity cannot be prolonged. In the museum Holden admires, “ in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move” (Salinger 134). He stares longingly at the class cases and wishes he could have put himself in that case along with the child he feels he needs to protect. This enclosure represents closure and stability for him. As Holden wrestles with with wanting Phoebe to stay innocent forever, “the carousel started, and I watched her go round and round. All the kids tried to grap for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she'd fall off the goddam horse, but I didn't say 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 is bad to say anything to them” (Salinger 208). Holden shows improvement in maturity and in impulse control when he makes the deliberate decision to let her go by herself. He usually does what he want to do. He rarely thinks before doing anything, but he realizes that she is growing up and he can not stop her from seeing and feeling the corruption of the world. Throughout The Catcher in the Rye extended metaphors are used to express the importance of the overall message. Holden feels as though he must preotct the kids from the corruptions he sees everyday:“I

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