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The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye

by J. D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye Symbolism, Imagery & Allegory

Sometimes, there’s more to Lit than meets the eye.

Holden's Red Hunting Hat

Holden has a really dumb hat. Well, it is dumb. Even he admits it: I put on this hat that I’d bought in New York that morning. It was this red hunting hat, with one of those very, very long peaks...

Ducks, Fish, and Other Wildlife

Holden just can’t let up about those ducks. He asks his first cab driver if he “happen[s] to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over? Do you happen to know, by any chance?"...

The Mummies

Holden claims he doesn’t know much about Egyptians in the failing essay he writes for Mr. Spencer’s class, but he knows enough to enthusiastically explain the process of mummification to two yo...

Ossenburger and Death

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 busin...

James Castle and Mr. Antolini's Quote

Holden digresses in Chapter Twenty-Two about James Castle, a classmate of his who killed himself at Elkton Hills. On the surface, this is another instance where death has come close to Holden—he...

The Museum

Holden just doesn’t want to grow up. (He’s a Toys R Us Kid.) "Certain things,” he says, “you ought to be able to stick […] in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone" (16.2...

The Little Shirley Beans Record

When Holden talks about the singer, Estelle Fletcher, he describes her singing it as "very Dixieland and whorehouse [… not] all mushy, [… not] cute as hell," as he thinks a white girl would hav...

Phoebe's Notebook

Before Holden wakes Phoebe up, he sits down and reads through her school notebook (check this out—it's not too far from the start of Chapter Twenty-One). Holden, much like we do, finds it endeari...

The "F--- you" Signs On the Walls

Holden may use words like “bastard” and “ass,” but he has to draw the line somewhere—and he draws that line at writing "fuck you" on the walls of elementary schools and museum tombs. Thes...

Phoebe, the Carousel, and the Gold Ring

As far as we can tell, there's only one place in the entire novel where Holden declares himself to be really happy. So happy, in fact, that he's "damn near bawling." And that moment is at the end o...

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