Symbols are objects, characters, figures, and colors provided to reexisting abstract concepts or ideas.

The “Catcher in the Rye”

As the resource of the book’s title, this symbol merits cshed inspection. It first shows up in Chapter 16, as soon as a boy Holden admires for walking in the street quite than on the sidewalk is singing the Robert Burns song “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye.” In Chapter 22, once Phoebe asks Holden what he wants to execute through his life, he replies via his image, from the song, of a “catcher in the rye.” Holden imagines a area of rye perched high on a cliff, full of youngsters romping and playing. He says he would certainly like to protect the children from falling off the edge of the cliff by “catching” them if they were on the verge of tumbling over. As Phoebe points out, Holden has misheard the lyric. He thinks the line is “If a body catch a body comin’ through the rye,” however the actual lyric is “If a body satisfy a body, coming with the rye.” The song “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye” asks if it is wrong for two people to have a romantic enrespond to out in the areas, amethod from the public eye, also if they don’t arrangement to have actually a commitment to one an additional. It is extremely ironic that the word “meet” refers to an encounter that leads to recreational sex, because the word that Holden substitutes—“catch”—takes on the specific oppowebsite meaning in his mind. Holden wants to catch youngsters before they loss out of innocence right into expertise of the adult people, consisting of knowledge of sex.

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Holden’s Red Hunting Hat

The red hunting hat is one of the most recognizable icons from twentieth-century Amerideserve to literature. It is inseparable from our picture of Holden, with good reason: it is a symbol of his uniqueness and individuality. The hat is outlandish, and also it mirrors that Holden desires to be various from everyone approximately him. At the very same time, he is incredibly self-aware about the hat—he always mentions once he is wearing it, and also he regularly doesn’t wear it if he is going to be around world he knows. The presence of the hat, therefore, mirrors the main conflict in the book: Holden’s need for isolation versus his need for companionship. It is worth noting that the hat’s color, red, is the same as that of Allie’s and Phoebe’s hair. Perhaps Holden associates it via the innocence and purity he believes these personalities represent and wears it as a means to attach to them. He never explicitly comments on the hat’s definition other than to mention its unusual appearance.

The Museum of Natural History

Holden tells us the symbolic meaning of the museum’s displays: they appeal to him because they are frozen and unaltering. He additionally mentions that he is troubled by the truth that he has changed eincredibly time he returns to them. The museum represents the world Holden wishes he might live in: it’s the human being of his “catcher in the rye” fantasy, a human being where nothing ever before changes, wbelow whatever is straightforward, understandable, and unlimited. Holden is terrified by the unpredictable challenges of the world—he hates conflict, he is puzzled by Allie’s sensemuch less death, and also he fears interaction via various other world.

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The Ducks in the Central Park Lagoon

Holden’s curiosity around wright here the ducks go during the winter reveals a actual, even more youthful side to his character. For most of the book, he sounds favor a grumpy old man who is angry at the civilization, however his search for the ducks represents the curiosity of youth and also a joyful willingness to enrespond to the mysteries of the world. It is a memorable minute, bereason Holden plainly lacks such willingness in various other elements of his life. The ducks and also their pond are symbolic in several ways. Their mysterious perseverance in the face of an unwelcoming environment resonates with Holden’s understanding of his very own situation. In enhancement, the ducks prove that some vanishings are only momentary. Traumatized and also made acutely mindful of the fragility of life by his brother Allie’s death, Holden is terrified by the concept of change and also loss. The ducks vanish eexceptionally winter, yet they return eincredibly spring, therefore symbolizing readjust that isn’t permanent, yet cyclical. Finally, the pond itself becomes a minor metaphor for the people as Holden sees it, bereason it is “partly frozen and also partially not frozen.” The pond is in change in between 2 claims, simply as Holden is in change in between childhood and also adulthood.