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Updated May 31, 2019

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Brandon Keehn Period one Mrs. Simons There are many symbols that play a major role throughout the book, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, that reveal Holden Caufield and his life.

One of those symbols were the ducks in the pond…what was that all about?? In the book Holden is always talking about the ducks in the pond. What was that all about? Well I think that it was all about either him or Allie. If you look at it like it is talking about Holden then it is looking at it like he is a duck so where does he go from there. He is in all this trouble and its getting cold so where does he go.

If it is talking about Allie,Salinger is saying that Allie died and Holden is just wondering where he went. He makes the statement “I mean dies somebody come around in a truck or something and take them away, or do they fly away by themselves-go south or something?.”(81-82). He knows where Allie went he is just wondering what he will do when he gets there and how he gets there. The obsession whith pain was a big symbol. He talks a lot about death and pain and what kind of stuff he would do to people. Like when he got punched in the stomach he pretended like he got shot .

Then he said he would walk up the stairs holding on to his guts and then hed see Maurice and plug him 6 times. Another time was when he was talking about falling out of the window and splatering on the ground and how bad it would be to have everybody look at your gory body. Or when that guy asked him if his red hat was his rabbit hunting hat and he said no it was his people hunting hat. And that leads to the next symbol…his red hat. His red hat was his feeling of invincibility. When he put on his red hat nothing could stop him.

And I think why he liked his red hat so much was because it was bright red just like Allie’s red hair.It was the closest thing to being near allie he could have. He loved that hat .And when phoebe was saying come back please and he said to take his hat for reassureance that he would be back that meant a lot because he charished that hat. Another symbol would be how he talked about everything at his prep schools.Like he would be talking about the nuns and see how they looked then he talked about how once there was this kid that kept his suitcases under the bed because Holden’s were too good for his suitcases. Another would be his drinking.When he had the fantasy with the bullet in the gut he said that he woud go to the bathroom and get a shot of bourbon to sooth him then he would go do all that other stuff. Or towards the end when he was so sick and drunk it was so pitiful because that was all he would do was drink all the time and smoke.

So think about symbolism in the book and think about what it means and see what you can come up with because Holden has been through some tough times.


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SYMBOLISM IN HOLDEN’S LIFE. (2019, May 31). Retrieved from