Holden Caulfield Symbolism

Words: 847
Pages: 4

“... And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff…” In J.D. Salinger's well-written novel, a sixteen-year-old boy named Holden Caulfield experiences a unique type of fall affecting how he values life. This specific quote explains Holden's motives as he values childhood innocence to protect and watch over children. Reason being is due to Holden experiencing the phoniness of adulthood. Overall, J.D. Salinger’s theme was that no matter how long a teenager may try to protect their childhood innocence, the fact is inevitable that one will have to dive into adulthood. J.D. Salinger did a fantastic job expressing his many symbolic figures in the novel. The most fitting figures relating to the theme consist of Allie’s baseball mitt, a museum, and a carrousel very precious to Holden’s childhood memories. To begin with, J.D. Salinger incorporated a setback for Holden, as he added the …show more content…
Salinger incorporated was a kids ride, the carrousel. The carrousel symbolized a safe haven for Holden, his brother Allie, and his sister Phoebe Caulfield. As kids, when the three of them went to the carrousel, they could never get Phoebe off of the ride. Moreover, this symbolic figure relates to the theme by addressing childhood innocence. Holden remarks, “I didn’t care, though, I felt so damn happy all of a sudden, the way old Phoebe kept going around and around.” This moment reminisces how much Holden misses being a child, how ecstatic he was, and that he misses how pure and entertaining everything was. Not only that, this scene represented turning over a new leaf, as Holden finally decided to grow up, and stop being the “The Catcher In The Rye.” He figured out that children need to learn and fall for themselves. Therefore, Salinger cleverly wrote how Holden would start his new change, how he’d start his new life adapting to the world of