Advanced U.S. Literature B
26 January 2015
Catcher Essay In The Catcher In The Rye By J.D. Sallinger, a young Holden Caufield is refusing to grow up. There are many symbols of his youth throughout the book, such as his curiosity about ducks. "I was thinking about the lagoon in Central Park, down near Central Park South. I was wondering if it would be frozen over when I got home, and if it was, where did the ducks go. I was wondering where the ducks went when the lagoon got all icy and frozen over. I wondered if some guy came in a truck and took them away to a zoo or something. Or if they just flew away. (pg. 13)" Holden Caufield is a 17 year old boy who deals with the issue of growing up. Holden is at his time in age where he is forced to grow up, even though he doesn't want to. Holden has been trying to protect his innocence for quite some time, as he does not like the idea of growing up. Holden’s misunderstanding of the ducks is one example of his innocence. Knowing where ducks go during the winter is a simple fact that young children learn as they grow up. We do not know for sure how much Holden knows about the ducks, but we can conclude that this little fact, which is common knowledge, shows how Holden is protecting his innocence. Holden is trying to prevent himself from growing up by protecting himself from simple childhood facts. ""Hey, listen," I said. "You know those ducks in that lagoon right near Central Park South? That little lake? By any chance, do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over? Do you happen to know, by any chance?" I realized it was only one chance in a million. (pg. 60)"
In this scene, Holden is in a taxicab being taken to a hotel. He is thinking about the ducks and about where they go. He decides to ask his taxicab driver if he knows where the ducks go. Holden believes that the driver is also confused as to where the ducks go. We know this because Holden states that it may be a one in a million shot asking him. Holden