The Catcher in the Rye Symbolism
Many teenagers around the age of Holden Caulfield, main character from The Catcher in the Rye, get worried and scared of growing up. Many children struggle with not wanting to grow up and the painfulness of it. J.D Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye, uses symbolism to create a theme. He uses the symbol of the catcher in the rye to develop the themes of the innocence of children and the phoniness of adulthood. The catcher in the rye first comes up when Holden hears the little boy singing the song. Then again when Phoebe asks him what he plans to do when he gets older in life. Holden truly hates phony things and he hopes to keep all children innocent and not influenced by growing up.
Holden’s fear of growing up into an adult starts when he realizes that he is getting older and people around him are changing into “phonies” as he calls it. Holden believes that when growing up children lose their innocence and become phony adults. The only person Holden really connects with throughout the book is his little sister Phoebe. Holden still thinks that she has her innocence and she has been uninfluenced by the phony adult world. One day when Holden is walking down the road he hears a little boy singing a song. A song he soon finds out later is called “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye” (Chap. 16). Holden really begins to like that song and decides to go buy Phoebe the record of it so she can listen to it too. Holden has his own unique perspective of this song as well. His perspective is himself being the catcher in the rye.
Holden’s idea of phoniness versus innocence really influences the way he views the world. Almost everything he says about adults has to do with them not being up to his standards or them being phony. Also, children are and always will be the symbol of innocence. Holden doesn’t connect with adults or even people his age for the simple fact that they have grown up to be what he says are “phonies”. Holden...
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