The Catcher in the Rye

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What Holden most wants to be in life is someone who stands on the edge of a cliff in a rye field catching children before they fall. The image is symbolic of Holden's desire to… (read full symbol analysis)
Holden's red hunting hat is a symbol of his alienation. It protects him, and makes him feel unique, but also singles him out as strange, which in turn reinforces his alienation. The hat is also… (read full symbol analysis)
Holden's fixation on the ducks is also a symbol of his struggle with change and growing up. He wants things to stay the same, but the ducks prove that one must adapt to the environment… (read full symbol analysis)
Holden loves the permanence of the exhibits at the Museum of Natural History because, unlike people, the displays never change. This constancy satisfies Holden's desire to stop time and remain in childhood. (read full symbol analysis)