English II Honors
26 February 2009 A World of Poor Choices
The exciting novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger expresses the free will of choice. Salinger cleverly conveys how decisions can alter a person’s perspective of their peer. Holden Caulfield, the protagonist, is a young teenager who has emotional instability and behavioral concerns. Holden acts immaturely extensively throughout the book. Holden invents a world where adulthood is the emblem of superficiality and “phoniness”, while he chooses to convey childhood as a world of innocence. Holden’s observation of himself being the catcher in the rye is highly symbolic. When Holden states he wants to walk off beyond the cliff and catch the …show more content…
The death staggers Holden because it required change and disappearance. Another powerful illustration of Holden’s immaturity is the symbolization of the ducks in the central lagoon. The ducks in the lagoon vanish every winter and return every summer. This cycle shows that change does not last forever. Out of curiosity Holden asks his cab driver “do you know where the ducks go when it gets all frozen over?” (Salinger 60). The pond resembles the midpoint between two states in reference to Holden’s position between childhood and adulthood. In these scenes, Holden’s attitude aids the reader to discover that his childhood is his predominant state, and it prevails over his chances at becoming an adult.
In the passage “Symbolism in The Catcher in the Rye” Clinton W. Trowbridge believes “Holden has tested several ideal images of himself only to find each of them phony” (Clinton W. Trowbridge 43). When Holden proclaims that he wants to be the catcher in the rye, it sounds outlandish. The suggestion of Holden becoming the catcher in the rye has remarkable significance and conveys two images. The first image conveys as Holden “being a savior and his religious idealism” (Trowbridge 45). Secondly, it analyzes Holden’s perspective of good and evil. Childhood represents the only good characteristic, surrounded by perils. The evil cliff signifies the transition over from childhood to adulthood. Holden fears “the children will plunge into the evil