Use Of The Central Park Carousel In The Catcher In The Rye

1402 words - 6 pages

People, places, songs, and even simple items such as a stuffed animal, a pillow, or a blanket can foster a person’s memory and take them back to a memory they hold dearly in their hearts. Often, such items of remembrance are used to bring back a person to their carefree and blissful childhood years. For many Americans, the Central Park Carousel in New York brings back memories of the entertainment of growing up in New York, and the wonderful memories of birthdays, family gatherings, and more. This historic carousel remains a timeless memory for those who enjoyed its delightful music, gleaming horses, and cheery atmosphere-never failing to bring a smile to ones face. A classic landmark in Central Park, the Central Park carousel has intregrated itself into the hearts of Americans. In his classic American novel, The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger puts such memories into writing through the relationship between Holden and Phoebe, and uses the carousel as a primary symbol in the novel, enhancing the overall theme.
From the sweet scent of popcorn and the soft melody of the historic band organ, the carousel remains a classic part of Central Park, in New York. However, the carousel’s historic features are not the only aspects of why the carousel is so timeless, but those who work there as well. Salvatore Napolitano, 54, is an attendant and vendor at the carousel, and has been working there since 1970, when he was only fifteen years old, giving up admission into three law schools, just for the chance to continue working at the carousel and seeing the happiness it brings to those who are able to partake in its majestic ride (Martin 1). In an interview, he stated that one of the most heart wrenching things he had ever seen in his life was an older man sitting on the carousel, and crying, which stuck Napolitano as extremely odd, since people were usually very cheerful when riding the carousel. After asking the man what was wrong, he explained that his mother had passed away that day, and that he had come to the carousel to remember all of the precious moments he had with his mother there (Blumenthal, 1). Sal has even had the privilege of seeing two of his friends get married on the carousel (1)! Recently, there have been numerous issues with the renovation and restoration of the carousel, which has gone through multiple renovations, and has been rebuilt four times since it originally opened in 1871. When the owner of the carousel, a company called New York One, did not meet the demands of the New York Parks Department, Donald Trump, renowned billionaire, took control of the carousel, and pays monthly fees to keep it up and running (Yakas 1). An everlasting symbol, the Central Park Carousel is bound foster memories with its lively tunes played on the band organ such as “Oh Marie,” “Downtown,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and other favorites (Blumenthal, 1). However, some things have not stayed the same. Today, a ride on the carousel costs around two to...

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