Symbolism In The Catcher In The Rye

Decent Essays

A literary symbol is a figure of speech where an object, person, or a situation has another meaning other than its literal meaning. J.D. Salinger, the author of The Catcher in the Rye used many symbols that affected the way readers see the story. Symbols like preparatory school life at Pencey Prep, the red hunting hat that Holden always wears, and Allie’s left-handed baseball glove created the story. J.D. Salinger uses the technique of symbolism to enhance the writing and give more insight to readers. Preparatory school life at Elkton Hills and Pencey Prep, played a large role in Holden Caulfield's life in The Catcher in the Rye. Holden thought that Elkton and especially Pencey represented a phony and cruel world, in which he had to attend. The school's motto, which is equally repulsive to Holden; “Since 1888 we have been molding boys into splendid, clear-thinking young men,” infuriated Holden, (Salinger 2). He believed that, “They don’t do any damn more molding at Pencey than they do at any other school,” (Salinger 2). Still, for Holden a more specific example of one of the Pencey prep students is his roommate, Stradlater, an unrefined womanizer who gets by on his superficial good looks and fake charm. All things considered, the most important part of these schools are the cruelty that Holden has seen. Holden dislikes the exclusivity and the prejudice against those who are neither ‘attractive’ or ‘hip’. Holden pointed out to Sally that, “It’s full of phonies,” (Salinger

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