Holden makes this statement as he narrates in J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye." Holden is seventeen and is at that point in his life where he needs to grow up and become an adult, but Holden would rather stay a child than follow the "template" or traditions of society. This "template" would be to go to school as a young child up into adolescence, and then to go to work with a suit and tie everyday. Holden does not want to follow this routine so he stands in the rye which symbolizes the stage of childhood, and catches them before they fall off the cliff as they transition into adulthood. This quote is significant because Salinger uses this metaphor to convey the theme of childhood innocence throughout the novel while also implying Holden's struggle to move on.
Mr. Spencer gives Holden advice on the day he left for Pencey in the novel "The Catcher in the Rye." In the beginning, Holden is searching for a slow and peaceful goodbye …show more content…
Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye," Holden visits a park his sister often frequents in an attempt to find her. Having no luck Holden finds a girl he believes to know Phoebe and asks her where she is, and she replies that Phoebe might be in the museum. Holden reminisces about the museum and remembers fondly of exhibits that he saw. This positive memory reveals Holden's feelings on change over time because he says it's "the best thing" that everything always stayed where it was and nothing moved. Holden values the past and old ways of life and this quote directly states it. Holden does not want to become an adult. He wants to stay right where he is. The same instance happens with the cabdriver who tells Holden that the fish don't go anywhere. Holden would much rather be a fish who stays in one place than to be a duck, and not know where they went, or where to go. This is significant to this coming of age story because it tells the reader a lot about Holden's character and what stage he's in at this point in his