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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

Holden's Red Hunting Hat

(Click the symbolism infographic to download.) 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 h...

Ducks, Fish, and Other Wildlife

(Click the symbolism infographic to download.)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...

The Mummies

(Click the symbolism infographic to download.)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...

Ossenburger and Death

(Click the symbolism infographic to download.)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: H...

James Castle and Mr. Antolini's Quote

(Click the symbolism infographic to download.)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 insta...

The Museum

(Click the symbolism infographic to download.)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 bi...

The Little Shirley Beans Record

(Click the symbolism infographic to download.)When Holden talks about the singer, Estelle Fletcher, he describes her singing it as "very Dixieland and whorehouse [… not] all mushy, [… not] cute...

Phoebe's Notebook

(Click the symbolism infographic to download.)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-O...

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

(Click the symbolism infographic to download.)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 wall...

Phoebe, the Carousel, and the Gold Ring

(Click the symbolism infographic to download.)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...

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