Symbolism Of The Rye By J. D. Salinger Essay

1224 Words Aug 17th, 2015 5 Pages
Symbolism in Catcher in the Rye In Catcher in the Rye author J. D. Salinger offers the reader a glimpse into the mind of a young teen protagonist, Holden Caulfield, as he seeks to establish his identity. Catcher in the Rye is laced with clues of Holden’s struggle with the rite of passage. Throughout Catcher in the Rye, symbolism illustrates Holden’s struggle with transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. One of the first and most important examples of symbolism found in the novel is the title Catcher in the Rye. At the beginning of the story the title holds little meaning for the reader but when Holden explains what he wants to be when he grows up the title becomes a symbol of Holden himself and his struggle to transition to an adult. As Holden explains how he wants to watch the children play in a rye field next to a cliff and be there to catch them with a big a net if they go over the edge the title takes on more meaning to the reader (Salinger 225). The rye field the children are playing in symbolizes innocence while the cliff is adulthood. Holden wants to save the kids from growing up while staying on the border himself. This image symbolically illustrates Holden’s reluctance to take the final step from teen to adult. Symbolism once again illustrates Holden’s struggle with growing up when while at school Holden is asked to write a descriptive essay about any topic. He chooses to write about a baseball mitt that belonged to his deceased brother. (Salinger 55) His…

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