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.

) 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). Holden then witnesses Phoebe ride the carrousel in Central Park as she goes “go around and around”(pg 190). The carousel at this point of the novel is emblematic of what Holden wishes the world would be like: unchanging and without progression. The circular shape of the carousel symbolizes the continuance of innocence by projecting a picture of infinity and never ending. Therefore, while Holden’s earlier preoccupation with change and death is still active, the carrousel is a symbol of a timeless and ageless object that provides a sense of security in Holden’s awry world. Furthermore, just as Peter Pan is a leader of his group of lost boys, Holden sees himself as a guardian of innocence. The act of encouraging Phoebe to go on the ride symbolizes his will to protect her from maturing. Moreover, the song ‘Smoke gets in your eyes’ portrays the image of smoke blinding one’s eyes. In a sense, it shows Holden’s will to avoid adulthood by blinding himself with the child’s world and not make any forward progress in maturing. Salinger represents the significant idea of through the paring of elements in the novel with foundations in the real world. The illustration of the carousel scene appeals to the readers’ emotion and enables them to relate to their own youthful childhood experiences. In addition, the symbol resonates with readers of all ages, which further enhances the symbolic idea portrayed through the carrousel. Eventually, Holden’s views on growing up came to a change as Phoebe climbs up onto the carrousel and begins to grasp the golden ring.
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2) As the carrousel ride progresses on, Holden came to a realization that growing up cannot be stopped and learnt to let go of his vacuous desire to protect children from falling into adulthood. 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 ...

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