Essay on F. D. Salinger 's The Catcher Of The Rye

1267 Words Jan 27th, 2016 6 Pages
Symbolism in The Catcher in the Rye
Like all great pieces of literature, J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye owes much of its fame to its ability to connect with the reader’s emotions. “Holden’s discontents and diatribes are infectious because we all have our irascibility and fastidiousness, and Salinger has managed to play on us by summoning up the perfect details” (Castronovo). The troubled teen story of Holden Caulfield depicts a young man unable to face his own reality. A struggle, many can relate to. Since the character isn’t able to come to terms with his feelings, Salinger uses symbols like colors, rain, and places of significance to display the emotions and values of Holden Caulfield. One of the most prominent characteristics of Holden Caulfield is his protective nature towards children, his desire to preserve their innocence. This part of him is evidently shown in the scene that gives the book its title. “Holden misquotes the Robert Burns poem phrase “gin a body meet a body/ comin’ thro’ the rye.” Thus, by changing the verb “meet” to “catch”, Holden transforms a poem laden with sexual overtones into an appeal to protect children’s innocence” (Kerr). Since innocence is such an important value in Holden’s life, Salinger uses the color green to symbolize innocence. This symbol can be found three times in the novel.
The first time is with Allie 's baseball glove. Holden’s younger brother Allie died at a young age of leukemia. Holden often glorifies Allie’s…

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