Symbolism in “The Catcher in the Rye” Notes

  • New York City- very busy and everything is running by really quickly, very commercial and dirty
  • The Ducks- concerned about them, kinda cute (ducks), represent the innocent that he is worried about and can’t do anything about it, doesn’t make the connection that they fly South even though that he mentioned it, worried that they can not take care of each other when they can take care of themselves
  • The Red Hunting Hat- bought it in NYC, Akly says it is a deer shooting hat but Holden says that it is a human shooting hat, but he isn’t violent, Allie had bright red hair Holden had brown with grey hair- wears hat as he is hunting for innocence
    • has too much trauma- sibling died and a violent death- and hunting for compassion, does not know how to deal with his problems, only conversation that gets him to give her his hat after Phoebe gives him all of her Christmas as she is the only one that cares about him (he feels),
    • Holden not taking care of himself- not eating and sleeping much, drinks too much alcohol, walks down the street talking to himself asking Allie not for him to disappear
  • Allie’s baseball glove- fear of change, has a lot of sentimental value to him, has poems on it in green ink, feels someone violates it when they don’t like it
  • The misquoted poem, The Catcher in The Rye- original poem about something much more adult, he thought that it was an innocent poem about kids falling from a cliff, wants to protect them
    • a lot of mentions about falling- motif, and falling from innocence
  • Carousel- doesn’t like change, Holden has an epiphany there – realizes kids will fall , kids have to grow up
  • Unmade Phone calls to Jane Gallagher- likes idea of Jane, likes his memories of her, never calls her, wants to preserve his memories of her
  • Natural History Museum- Likes how it doesn’t change-It’s predictable-, how he changes, things always change, past is easy- future is not as don’t know
  • Profanity (F-bomb)- world is ruined (all the profanity on the walls), schools, museum all have it – all of it is adult and crude way to discuss it
  • Little Shirley Bean Records- sign of his sister’s love for him when she accepts it even when it is destroyed
  • Central Park- natural not phony, safe place for Holden, has the ducks and carousel, Museum of Natural History, not man made at all
  • Pencey Prep- symbol of all the phoniness and conformity, everything that Holden hates is represented there, a lot of expectations
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Weston D. Browne, Robert E. Lieberson, Mohammad J. Kabbesh Published: November 08, 2021 (see history) DOI: 10.7759/cureus.19373 …
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