“Catcher in the Rye”, by J.D Salinger, is about a boy named Holden Caulfield. He thinks the adult world is a bunch of “phonies.” The novel contains many key symbols that help develop the novel, and to help show Holden Caulfield’s point of view on the way he sees the world. Three of these key symbols include: Holden Caulfield’s red hunting hat, the ducks in the Central Park lagoon, and The Museum of Natural History.
One of the most important and recognizable symbols in the novel is Holden Caulfield’s red hunting hat. It symbolizes his uniqueness. The way he wears the hat gives off an impression that he wants to be very different from everyone around him. He “swung the old peak way around to the back.” This may just be a coincidence, but there is something crucial about the hat’s color. It is red, just like the color of Allie and Phoebe’s hair. This possibly shows that he has a strong connection and relationship with Allie and Phoebe. This is true in a sense because he does make a connection with Phoebe involving the hat. Holden believes that the hat was a barrier. It protected him from turning into a phony adult. Because the hat protected him, he feels that it will do the same thing for Phoebe. Holden took his “hunting hat out of his coat pocket and gave it to her.”
Another key symbol in the novel is the ducks in the Central Park lagoon. The ducks in the pond reflect Holden’s personal life conflict. The pond filled with ducks represents childhood, and the pond in the winter that is empty represents Holden’s struggle with adulthood. Every winter, the ducks leave the pond, but they come back in the spring, which means that the change is not permanent, but like a cycle. The pond shows how Holden views the world because it is “partly frozen and partly not frozen.”
The ducks in Central Park is also a motif. It appears constantly through the novel. For example, during both times...