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Catcher In The Rye: Symbolism

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Introduction

The Glove His younger, deceased brother Allie's baseball glove is very important to Holden. It reminds him of his brother, as well as showing Holden's love for him. It is a very unique baseball mitt with poems written all over it, reflecting Allie's personality. Jane is the only person outside of the family that Holden has shown the mitt to. With the death of his brother, Holden loses faith in the world, and starts seeing things in purely black and white. His hope dies, and many things that did mattered before no longer do. The baseball mitt is a source of comfort for Holden. The baseball mitt allows him to imagine about the field of rye where the innocent and purity of childhood remains, where Allie is alive and where life is much easier. The baseball mitt allows people to see the sensitive side of Holden. The death of Allie holds a major impact on Holden, and is the central idea of the story. Holden is having trouble acknowledging the death of his brother and dealing with his grief. Cemetery I think, even, if I ever die, and they stick me in a cemetery, and I have a tombstone and all, ...read more.

Middle

The Ducks and The Lake The question that Holden always asks throughout the book is a less obvious but important symbol. For most of the book, Holden sounds like an old man who has seen so much harshness in the world that he no longer trusts it, but the question he repeatedly asks of the ducks and the lake shows his youthful curiosity about the mysteries of the world. This is a significant moment because he rarely shows this kind of willingness in other aspects of the world. The way the birds can survive while the environment in which they live in is so inhospitable is reflected with Holden's own situation. Holden has been traumatized by his little brother Allie's death and because of it is terrified of change. The pond itself also reflects where Holden is in his life. What it was, it was partly frozen and partly not frozen. The pond is between being frozen and not frozen. It reflects the transition between being a child and becoming an adult. Otherwise known as adolescence, which Holden is going through, which is also giving him trouble. ...read more.

Conclusion

Allie was the one person who understood Holden. Every time I'd get to the end of a block I'd make believe I was talking to my brother Allie. I'd say to him, "Allie, don't let me disappear. Allie, don't let me disappear. Allie, don't let me disappear. Please, Allie." After Allie's death, Holden can only turn to his kid sister, Phoebe, who also understood him. One of the reasons Holden is so close to his sister is because he wants to protect her from the harshness of reality. He wants to protect her from growing up and losing her innocence and uncorrupted youth. This is also reflected in his 'catcher in the rye' dream. Another reason is that Phoebe is the only one who didn't 'turn their back away' from Holden. D.B., his older brother, went off to Hollywood, his little brother Allie died and his parents keep sending him away to boarding schools. The only person he feels he can rely on is Phoebe, who has never turned her back away. Even when Holden decides he is going to leave, Phoebe begs to be able to go with him. "...Can't I go with you? Holden? Can't I? Please." "No. Shut up." Symbolism Explained Kelly Wong 10.1 Symbolism Explained Kelly Wong 10.1 ...read more.

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