The Catcher in the Rye

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The Ducks in the Lagoon in Central Park Symbol Analysis

The Ducks in the Lagoon in Central Park Symbol Icon
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, that one has to change in order to survive. At the same time, the ducks offer hope: though they disappear each winter, they always reappear.
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The Ducks in the Lagoon in Central Park Symbol Timeline in The Catcher in the Rye

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Ducks in the Lagoon in Central Park appears in The Catcher in the Rye. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Eventually, Holden begins to tune out, and wonders to himself where the ducks in the Central Park lagoon go during winter. (full context)
Chapter 9
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
...a cab to the Edmont Hotel. On the way, he asks the driver where the ducks in the Central Park lagoon go in the winter, but the driver thinks he's joking... (full context)
Chapter 12
Alienation and Meltdown Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
...up a conversation with his cab driver, who's named Horwitz, then finally asks about the ducks in the Central park lagoon. Horwitz becomes angry at this stupid question. Horwitz shouts that... (full context)
Chapter 20
Phoniness Theme Icon
Women and Sex Theme Icon
Madness, Depression, Suicide Theme Icon
Holden walks to Central Park to check on the ducks in the lagoon. During the walk, Holden drops the record he bought for Phoebe and... (full context)