Theme Of Rain In Catcher In The Rye

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In the natural world, weather is unpredictable and can strike at any moment. However, in literature the author has the power to decide when a storm will hit. As explained in Thomas C. Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor, the author always has a purpose behind a weather occurrence. Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger has instances of snow and rain that undoubtedly serve a deeper meaning than just drenching the protagonist. The instances of snow and rain in Catcher in the Rye bear symbolic representation of struggle, which ultimately leads to a cleanse. Holden Caulfield, the protagonist, has been kicked out of Pencey Preparatory High School, and on the night that he decides to leave it has snowed. Snow is often described as “blanketing” the ground, which in Holden’s situation is representative of symbolically restricting his actions. He has yet again been kicked out of a school and feels as if there is no right move to make in succession. “The snow was very good for packing. I didn’t throw it at anything, though. I started to throw it. At a car that was parked across the street. But I changed my mind. The car looked so nice and white. Then I started to throw it at a hydrant, but that looked too nice and white, too” (Salinger 47). Not only does the snow represent Holden’s paralyzation, it is also symbolic of his purity. The snow is clean and white, which can constitute as pure, and consequently Holden does not want to destroy the untainted snow. He is at a point

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