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Catcher In The Rye Ducks Essay

Essay on Meaningful Symbols in the Rye by J.D Salinger

537 Words3 Pages

Catcher in the Rye”, by J.D Salinger, is about a boy named Holden Caulfield. He thinks the adult world is a bunch of “phonies.” The novel contains many key symbols that help develop the novel, and to help show Holden Caulfield’s point of view on the way he sees the world. Three of these key symbols include: Holden Caulfield’s red hunting hat, the ducks in the Central Park lagoon, and The Museum of Natural History. One of the most important and recognizable symbols in the novel is Holden Caulfield’s red hunting hat. It symbolizes his uniqueness. The way he wears the hat gives off an impression that he wants to be very different from everyone around him. He “swung the old peak way around to the back.” This may…show more content…

Catcher in the Rye”, by J.D Salinger, is about a boy named Holden Caulfield. He thinks the adult world is a bunch of “phonies.” The novel contains many key symbols that help develop the novel, and to help show Holden Caulfield’s point of view on the way he sees the world. Three of these key symbols include: Holden Caulfield’s red hunting hat, the ducks in the Central Park lagoon, and The Museum of Natural History. One of the most important and recognizable symbols in the novel is Holden Caulfield’s red hunting hat. It symbolizes his uniqueness. The way he wears the hat gives off an impression that he wants to be very different from everyone around him. He “swung the old peak way around to the back.” This may just be a coincidence, but there is something crucial about the hat’s color. It is red, just like the color of Allie and Phoebe’s hair. This possibly shows that he has a strong connection and relationship with Allie and Phoebe. This is true in a sense because he does make a connection with Phoebe involving the hat. Holden believes that the hat was a barrier. It protected him from turning into a phony adult. Because the hat protected him, he feels that it will do the same thing for Phoebe. Holden took his “hunting hat out of his coat pocket and gave it to her.” Another key symbol in the novel is the ducks in the Central Park lagoon. The ducks in the pond reflect Holden’s personal life conflict. The pond filled with

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Catcher in the Rye – Ducks in the Lagoon Symbolism

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Throughout the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J. D Salinger a symbol that my group chose that we believe represents Holden is the ducks at Central park south. Holden repeatedly asks people where the ducks go because he likes the ducks staying where they are. Holden worries about the ducks at Central park south “But I didn’t see any ducks around . . . but I didn’t see a single duck. I thought maybe if they were any around, they might be asleep or something near the grass and all.

That’s how I nearly fell in. but I couldn’t find any” (Salinger 154). Holden then asks the taxi cab driver who he doesn’t know where the ducks go. “You know those ducks in the lagoon right near Central park south? That little lake? By any chance, do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over? Do you know by any chance? ”(Salinger 90). “I was wondering if it would be frozen over when I got home, and if it was, where did the ducks go. I was wondering where the ducks went when the lagoon got all icy and frozen over.

I wondered if some guy came in a truck and took them away to a zoo or something. Or if they just flew away” (Salinger 13). Holden often wonders and questions where the ducks go during the winter. Holden doesn’t like the ducks flying south and wonders why and where they go. To Holden the ducks represent people, and the ducks flying south symbolize change in people which he doesn’t like. Holden doesn’t like change, he wants everyone to stay the same like for instance; stay being a kid.

Holden enjoys innocence in children and believes kids are the truth. When children grow up, they change and to Holden become something there not which he calls “phonies”. Holden observes a child walking down the street next to the little boys’ parents and is singing about the catcher. “He was making out like he was walking a very straight line; the way kids do, and kept singing and humming . . . he had a pretty little voice too. He was just singing for the hell of it, you can tell” (Salinger 115).

Holden tries to protect the innocence of the children. The ducks can also be used to symbolize the pressures in Holden’s life. As the temperature rises, the pond freezes from the outside in. This causes the ducks to be moved to a more confined space slowly which cause them to eventually flee. The frozen pond in the novel can be used to represent the pressures in Holden’s life closing in on him causing him to move on and find a solution. An example of this is when Holden is kicked out of multiple schools and is forced to move on and find a solution.

Author: Allan Leider

in Catcher in the Rye

Catcher in the Rye – Ducks in the Lagoon Symbolism

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