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The Catcher in the Rye - Symbolism of ducks.

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The Catcher in the Rye 1. Symbols/Motifs Ducks: The ducks are a very important symbol when looking at Holden, as he identifies himself with them. He tries to find out, where the ducks go in winter. He doesn't know this and it can be transferred to his own life, as he also doesn't know where he should go. He thinks by finding the solution to the ducks problem he could also find a solution to his own one. So he keeps asking the cab drivers, if they "happen to know"(p.54) where the ducks go in winter, when the lake gets all "frozen over" (p.54), he sees only little chance in it, though. This "frozen over" can also be transferred to Holden's own life and feelings, as he seems to be stuck in his development and doesn't know where to go. Although he actually knows the ducks are gone, he wants to visit them. ...read more.


Grey hair normally is associated with old people, or grown ups. With pointing at his grey hair Holden tries to prove that he in a way already is a grown up. He wants to show that he's an adult, although he hasn't found out yet, if he already wants to be an adult. But nevertheless, the grey hair should show the "being an adult" and he therefore often uses it to be accepted as one. For example on page 138 he tells the hat-check girl he wants to date her and because she's of the opinion that she could be his mother he shows her his grey hair, to leave the impression of being older. Holden is in a stage between a grown up and childhood. He partly acts like a child and still wants to be a child, as they have no real worries and problems, and partly like a grown up. ...read more.


The boy isn't paid any attention to from the parents, just like Holden. They don't realize that he is in danger, because he is walking in the street instead of on the sidewalk. That can be transferred to Holden's life as well. His parents also don't realize that he is in a for him dangerous situation. This boy is now singing the song of the catcher in the rye. Perhaps the idea of wanting to be the catcher comes up in Holden's mind at that point. Because he can absolutely identify with the boy he wants to be his catcher. Holden says about hearing the song "It made me feel better. It made me feel not so depressed anymore." (p.104). That's the first time something makes him feel better, instead of even more depressed. That shows that he has found something positive, and that is probably the idea of the catcher in the rye and this song sung by the little boy Holden can identify with, as he also needs a catcher who saves him. ...read more.

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