The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye
by J. D. Salinger
group rates for schools and districts

Ossenburger and Death

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Old Ossenburger is the wealthy alumnus who gave Pencey money to construct buildings. Where’d he get that money? A chain of bargain funeral parlors:

He made a pot of dough in the undertaking business after he got out of Pencey. What he did, he started these undertaking parlors all over the country that you could get members of your family buried for about five bucks apiece. You should see old Ossenburger. He probably just shoves them in a sack and dumps them in the river. (3.1)

Nice. That’s just another reminder that Holden’s entire world is built around phonies who, if they’re not trying to cheapen death, are trying to pretend it doesn’t happen.

Next Page: James Castle and Mr. Antolini's Quote
Previous Page: The Mummies

Need help with College?