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Arthur miller

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In The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger uses the symbol of the ducks in the lagoon at central park to contribute to his overall message of this novel. Holden's determination to find out "where the ducks go" can symbolize many key issues throughout the story. The obsession with death that Holden possesses can be the first recognizable relation to the ducks at central park. The in between stage that Holden is trapped in, is another issue that the ducks can symbolize. The loss of safety and security, what Holden fears most, is also connected to the ducks in a number of ways. The unconscious fascination with death that Holden repeatedly ponders can be observed through his conscious thought in the search for the ducks at central park. The ducks disappearance is associated with Holden's obsession with death due to his theory that death means to disappear. Holden developed this theory from his experience with Allie's death. ...read more.


A perfect example of a troubled situation that Holden was in where he pretends that he is dying in the hope that he would disappear. The issue of Holden trapped in his in between stage can be another symbol of the ducks at Central park. Holden's misunderstanding of the ducks disappearance that "Somebody come around in a truck or something and take them away" can correspond to his misunderstanding of adulthood which prevents him from maturing. Holden does not want to become an adult because he assumes that all adults are "phonies" and that the worst a person could be is a "phony". In Holden's mind, he believes that if he becomes an adult he would have to do activities that are "phony" to him. Such as "Go downstairs in elevators with suitcases and stuff" or "be working in some office, making a lot of dough, and riding to work in cabs and Madison Avenue buses". ...read more.


Spencer about getting kicked out of Pencey. Holden secretly pondered the thought of the lagoon at central park, "If it would be frozen over" when he got home "and, if it was, where did the ducks go". Thus, connecting the safety and security of the ducks to the safety and security of himself. Holden also visits the lagoon late at night when he is scared to go home. He feels a sense of homelessness and it is ironic that instead of searching for a place "to sleep" he wants to" See what the hell the ducks were doing, see if they were around or not". Once he realizes that the ducks are gone he starts to feel "Blue as hell", and eventually goes home, back to his safety and security. The overall message that Salinger contributes to this novel is the cycle of life. Salinger understands that everyone copes with childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and death in different ways. He tries to express that this cycle cannot be avoided, it will occur in every human being because it is a part of life. ...read more.

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