Catcher In The Rye Setting Essay

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In the Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, there are many settings. Holden leaves Pencey and his hometown, to set foot into the always engaged and immense city of New York. The change of settings are a very important part of the novel since in every place, something important occurs. The different settings all link back to one common denominator, which is that Holden is afraid of growing up and losing his innocence, thus connecting back to the theme of being the catcher in the rye. When Holden goes to the Central Park pond, a more youthful side of him is revealed. The symbol of the ducks makes Holden a completely different person. We know Holden as a bad-tempered, and crabby adolescent, who is not doing well emotionally and mentally. When…show more content…
They then see a carousel nearby, so they go there and Phoebe rides the carousel without Holden. While Phoebe is riding the carousel, she reaches out her arm to grab the ring. This is the scene where Holden realizes that growing up may not be as bad as it seems. He finally wakes up and realizes that change is a part of life, “If they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it's bad if you say anything to them.” (211). For the first time in the novel, Holden acts and thinks like an adult. Not riding the carousel symbolizes that he has finally let go of that fear of growing up that has been on his mind since he left his hometown. It’s his choice to not ride the carousel because he could easily buy a ticket and stand beside her like many parents do, but Holden shows that he cannot do childlike things anymore because he is now an adult that must move on. He realizes that his turn to ride the carousel has ended and that he should let other people ride it and reach for the ring. He likes to see Phoebe reach for the ring, because if she doesn’t get it, he knows that making mistakes and failing is a part of growing up. The carousel and the ring represent Holden’s coming of

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