• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Catcher in the Rye Essay. The three main symbolic events which describe Holden's alienation from society are the red hunting hat, the museum and the ducks in the lagoon.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Alienation from the Adult World The Catcher in the Rye written by J.D Salinger is a Bildungsroman about a teenage boy named Holden Caulfield who is having difficulties accepting and blending in with the adult world. Holden throughout the novel encounters awkward situations where he feels left out and alienated prior to the fact which he cannot make any real friends except for Phoebe his younger sister and Jane Gallagher which he now has lost contact to. Holden's incapability of becoming an adult keeps him constantly confused about society in general. Every time Holden has a decent conversation with another adult he constantly feels neglected or insulted. Throughout the novel, the red hunting hat, the museum, and the ducks in the lagoon are three symbolic events which establish Holden's alienation from society. ...read more.

Middle

Holden then seeking for a friend goes to see Ackley. Ackley then again, disappoints Holden because Ackley had not given him the attention and moral support he really needed. This leads again for Holden to put "his red hunting hat on" and turn "the peak around to the back" the way he liked it (52). The museum is a place Holden always enjoyed going to since childhood. "The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move... Nobody'd be different. The only thing that would be different would be you" (121). Holden goes to the museum two times in the novel. The first time he walks all the way through central park but does not enter the museum. When Holden arrives he is too afraid to enter because something might have changed in the museum. ...read more.

Conclusion

The ducks and the lagoon are both symbols of Holden's alienation. Holden questions why and where the ducks disappear the same why he questions why people change and alienate Holden. The lagoon symbolizes Holden's ideal world where everything is "frozen" and simple and how the ducks (society) abandon Holden. Holden then "walked all around the whole damn lake" but doesn't see a single duck (154). This leads for Holden again to feel depressed and alone. The three main symbolic events which describe Holden's alienation from society are the red hunting hat, the museum and the ducks in the lagoon. Holden is a misunderstood teenage boy who is confused about society and their way of living. Holden is stuck between two lifestyles, either becoming a child or an adult. Holden tries being either one but he constantly fails at this and it results for him feeling alienated and lonely. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level J.D. Salinger section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level J.D. Salinger essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    'Holden's quest is an impossible one; it is a quest for the preservation of ...

    4 star(s)

    Although Holden seeks to protect innocence from a phony world, it would seem that this is undermined by the fact that Holden, to a certain extent, exemplifies phoniness himself. He admits to being "the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life" and in the course of the narrative we see that this self-assessment does indeed have some truth.

  2. Relationships with Holden in "The Catcher in the Rye"

    The death of Holden's younger brother Allie could also be a cause of Holden's behaviour and we learn this in Chapter 5 when Holden's roommate asks him to write a composition for his English class. He chooses to write a personal story of his brother's baseball mitt.

  1. Theme in The Catcher in the Rye.

    deeply about and respect one another, and he is upset by the realization that sex can be casual. Stradlater's date with Jane doesn't just make him jealous; it infuriates him to think of a girl he knows well having sex with a boy she doesn't know well.

  2. The Catcher in the Rye - Symbolism of ducks.

    Holden knows he's probably in the development from a child to an adult, though he seems to be stuck. Therefore he hardly wants to find out, what happens to the ducks, because he absolutely doesn't know where he stands at the moment and what is going to happen next.

  1. How does the reliability of the narrator, and they style they use, affect the ...

    a diary, for his own use, as the date "1801" at the very beginning of the book indicates. This makes for a far less friendly and more formal tone making Lockwood even harder to understand. When Nelly takes over the reader feels somewhat relieved.

  2. "The Catcher In The Rye" is a novel that has always attracted controversy.

    Salinger could be suggesting that this is the behaviour Capitalism encourages, therefore making his statements controversial in 1950's American society. At times, Holden makes remarks which could be deemed "communist" in nature. The Cold War from 1945 to 1991 was essentially a battle between Communism and Capitalism therefore these "communist-like"

  1. Catcher in the Rye: Close Reading

    Holden admits, "I knew I didn't have to get all dolled up for a prostitute or anything, but it sort of gave me something to do. I was a little nervous. I started to feel pretty sexy and all, but I was a little nervous anyway" (Salinger 120).

  2. a letter to holden caulfield

    I cant blame my mom though because she's dead now. Though, she used to narrate bedtime stories based on ethical values, and I believe, would continue her efforts, rather differently, if she was alive. Had I not read your book I'd probably be a wimpy mama's boy today if she'd live on.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work