The Catcher in the Rye

2057 Words Jun 26th, 2005 9 Pages
The novel The Catcher In The Rye, by J.D. Salinger, contains many complex symbols, many of the symbols in the book are interconnected. A symbol is an object represents an idea that is important to the novel. I believe the most important symbol in this novel is Holden 's idea of being the "catcher in the rye". Holden Caulfield, the main character in the novel, is not the typical sixteen year old boy. Holden has many characteristics that aren 't typical of anyone that I know. Holden is very afraid of growing up. He feels the adult world is "phony", everyone in it, and everything associated with it. Holden never actually states that he is afraid of growing up, or that he hates the idea of it, instead he expresses his resistance to become …show more content…
How would you know you weren 't being a phony? The trouble is, you wouldn 't." This is displayed when he is talking to Phoebe and she is talking about a boy in her class who probably likes her but she doesn 't want him to, she tells Holden that she put ink on his jacket and Holden responds to that by saying, "That isn 't nice. What are you-a child, for God 's sake?" Holden likes getting reactions from people to reassure himself of his actions. This is a parallel to what all teenagers must go through at one point in their life, the line between should I do this to please my parents, or should I do what I want to do? Holden represents every teenagers struggle for independence. Holden tells Phoebe that what he actually wants to do when he 's older is he wants to be the "catcher in the rye". He tells Phoebe the lyrics to the song that the boy was singing, "If a body, catch a body, coming through the rye." Phoebe corrects him telling him that the song he is referring to is actually a poem, and the correct lyrics are "If a body, meet a body, coming through the rye." He acknowledges her, but he believes he is right, being as he 's the older brother and all. Using the lyrics that he believes are right as his inspiration he creates a fantasy world, making himself the

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