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Catcher In the Rye Essay. Describe how the writer used effective symbolism in the text.

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´╗┐Catcher In the Rye Essay Describe how the writer used effective symbolism in the text Explain what the reader could learn from this effective use of symbolism As writer Cindy Gerard once said, ?Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional?. The idea that growing old is an inevitable part of life that every individual must partake in is advocated in J.D. Salinger?s novel The Catcher in the Rye. Salinger blatantly presents the message that one must learn to embrace the beauty of maturity through the potent symbol of the carrousel. The effective use of symbolism depicts the idea of realization, showing how Holden as an individual grows mentally during the process, changing his initial will of protecting the innocence of the children, which eventually led to self contradictory and finally the acceptance and undergoing adulthood. 1) Salinger thoroughly presents Holden?s immense affection for childhood and his will to protect innocence through the symbol of the carousel at the beginning of the ride. As Holden and Phoebe entered the carrousel place, Holden immediately recognizes the song ?Smoke Gets In Your Eyes? and comments on the ?one nice thing? that he appreciates about the carrousel is that ?they always play the same songs" (pg190). ...read more.


Holden witnesses the innocent children in danger of falling from the circling carrousel as they reach for the stationary gold ring, yet he just sits and watches the inevitability of youngsters becoming adults. The picture of children reaching out is a symbolic scene, which indicates that there is a natural desire to protect innocence, but it is a foolish desire and everybody must grow up. Furthermore, the perils of the ride imply the dangers and insecurities in life which children must risk as they grow up in order to reach their goals. In addition, Salinger makes emphasis to Holden?s self-contradiction through his passive tone and extreme dictions as he mention that he was ?afraid? of Phoebe falling off the ?goddamn horse? yet he ?didn?t say anything or do anything? (pg 190). The juxtaposition between the phrases ?afraid?, ?goddamn? and ?didn?t do anything? deliberately displays the beginning of Holden?s realization. That half of him still hesitates about adulthood, but the other half of him has accepted the fact that growing up is mandatory. In this confronting of reality, Holden has begun to lose his delusional obsession to be a catcher in the rye and accepts that there can be no protector to break the fall from innocence into maturity. ...read more.


Therefore, from this symbolic scene readers are able to learn that happiness and innocence may remain through the process of maturity. Moreover, this fictional carousel is a symbol based upon a real carousel that was burnt down in 1950s. Salinger locates the concept of ?renewal and rebirth within destruction? by choosing a symbol which has experienced death. Which effectively portrays the realization that Holden experiences by the end of the ride, that maturity is not just the end of one journey, but the beginning for both of them. Innocence and maturity are both something that men have held equally dearly throughout the sands of time. Through Salinger?s deft and adroit use of symbolism, readers are able to explore the idea that even though growing up is inventible; innocence can still be preserved throughout the process. In addition, all the ideas that Salinger imply through his use of effective symbolism in the carrousel scene reinforces each other, and points the way to Holden?s redemption into life rather than withdrawal from it. Therefore, ?A grown up is just a child with layers on? (Woody Harrison) one must learn to give way to the hopeful beginnings of maturity, where in the end the most valued will always stay true to its purpose. ...read more.

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