of symbolism in his novel to accurately convey the feelings of his main character, Holden, and, in essence, to reveal information pertaining to human sentiment. Many of these symbols contain irony, multiple meanings, and varying degrees of complexity. Through the comprehension of Salinger’s unique symbolism, however, The Catcher in the Rye can be truly understood and appreciated.
The character of Holden Caulfield is a powerful symbol himself which represents people as they truly are. Holden can be related to by anyone; he is occasionally silly, irritating, thoughtless, and irresponsible. He judges others without a second thought and builds his perception of people according to the things that he deems to be “phony.” Holden Caulfield is representative of idealism. He sees the difference between what is and what ought to be and is bothered enough by this to take action. The name “Holden” can be phonetically interpreted as meaning “hold on,” but what is it that Holden is holding on to? The Catcher in the Rye is the tale, from Holden’s
perspective, of the three days following his removal from his prep school, Pencey, and the wisdom that comes during his venture.
One of the first enc...
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Miller, Edwin. "In Memoriam: Allie Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye." EBSCOhost. 2000. Web. 22 Apr. 2009.
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