Holden Caulfield Symbolism

531 Words3 Pages
Many authors use symbolism to express ideas and convey a message that may not be clear to the reader. In the novel Catcher in the Rye, Holden, the main character, retells a story about his experiences over a three day period that mainly takes place in New York City and along the way Holden gets confused and doesn’t know what to do next. He feels depressed throughout the novel and feels like isolating himself from the world. J.D. Salinger uses symbolism in the form of ducks at Central Park to represent Holden’s transition into adulthood. Holden uses the ducks as a means to find what he should do with his future. Holden’s fascination for the ducks goes as far as him asking taxi drivers if they know where the ducks go for the winter. He only seems to asks taxi drivers because he knows they are familiar with the city. During one of his taxi rides, he asks the taxi drivers “do you happen to know where they [the ducks] go?” (Salinger 60). After getting kicked out of Pencey State, he has been confused, lost, and he doesn’t know where to go or what to do. He wonders if people come to take the ducks when the pond freezes over or if they fly away and go on their…show more content…
After his ,brother, Allie died of leukemia, Holden has been scared of change. He feels if something disappears it's gone forever. The ducks, for example, leave during the winter because the ducks don’t like the cold and can leave easily. Although the winter causes the ducks to leave their home, when spring comes along the ducks always return. This is one way to notify Holden that change is only temporarily. The partially frozen pond represents his transition into adulthood. Holden doesn’t want to become an adult as he thinks all adults are phonies. When he is on his date with Sally, Holden tells her that he wants to run away to the West and live in a cabin in the woods. He doesn’t know whether to live with his parents at home or to start his own life and become an

More about Holden Caulfield Symbolism

Open Document