Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Wait a minute – Dean’s lusting after young girls is pedophilia, not a symbol. Right? Well, depends on how literary you’re feeling. Dean thinks in terms of time, and the problem with time is that it makes us all older. We were particularly interested in that passage where Dean and Sal play basketball against some younger boys and we get to see that Dean and Sal are aging. So what’s a frantic, older man to do? Fall in love with youth. And the nearest embodiment is youth is a very young girl, or two, or twelve, that Dean lusts after.