Catcher in the Rye

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Symbolic and Ironic Use of Weather

In movies, stories, or even life in general, weather often has a strong effect on people's moods. Typically, when it is sunny, people give the impression of being happier, when it is stormy, people are sad or angry. In his novel The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger uses irony to support his use of how weather reflects the moods of the protagonist Holden Caulfield pertaining to love, death and the renaissance of his soul.

Sunshine usually brings happiness to Holden's mind, even with all of the troubles Holden is going through, like the death of his brother Allie, and the fact he is being expelled from Penecy. Ironically, when Holden goes to New York after being expelled, he meets a man in an elevator, who later introduces him to a prostitute, named Sunny. Holden pays for her, and wants what she is offering, when she arrived; however, he could not follow through and became sad. One might expect, a prostitute named Sunny would bring happiness, or at the least imply an amusing disposition ironically enough, to Holden, she brings the opposite. "The trouble was, I just didn't want to do it. I felt more depressed than sexy, if you want to know the truth. She was depressing. Her green dress hanging in the closet and all. And besides, I don't think I could ever do it with somebody that sits in a stupid movie all day long. I really don't think I could." (end of chap 13). Typically, Sun is not supposed to bring depression. It is ironic that a prostitute named Sunny could make someone that depressed.

In nature, rain is a necessity for nurturing growth, sustaining both plants and animals. Despite these benefits; however, to most people, rain usually dampens their moods. Holden's view of rain completely changes from the beginning to the end of the story. For most of the story, he sees rain as a bad thing, something which vividly reminds him of the death of his brother Allie. When he is thinking about his brother's baseball glove,...
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