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Holden Caulfield And The Catcher In The Rye

2680 words - 11 pages

A Character Sketch of Holden Caulfield
In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield is the main character that the book revolves around. He is a seventeen year old boy that sometimes acts immature: "Some times I act like I'm thirteen" (13). He stands tall measuring six feet two and a half. Even though he is young, one side of his head is "Full of millions of grays hairs" (13). This grey air seems unusual and atypical because he had it since he was a child! Most people know him say he acts like he is twelve, including his father. Caulfield does agree that he does sometimes act like an adolescent, but not all the time. As he states "Sometimes I act a lot older than I am —I really ...view middle of the document...

Holden’s Hat as a Symbol
Through out the novel of The Cather in the Rye, there are many prevalent symbols. One of these symbols includes Holden's red hunting hat appears throughout the novel. This hat is a major symbol of Holden's character and actions. Holden first describes the hat as "I really got a bang out of that hat" (36). This shows that Holden seems to get a benefit of the hat in someway. Throughout the novel, he wears his hat to show his audacity, fortitude, and courage. He seems to wear his red hunting hat on certain occasions based on his mood, and he always gets some avail out of it. He always wears it “With the peak around to the back and all” (36). Each time he wears his hat, he wears it for a certain reason and emotion that he is feeling.
Moreover, there are a plethora of events throughout the novel when Holden wears his hat. One of the first scenes when this occurs is when he decides to leave Pencey, his formal all boys school that he was failing. He was crying for no reason and he puts on his red hunting hat. "Then I yelled at the top of my goddam voice..." (68). This scene shows that the hat gave him the temerity and dignity to leave from Pencey. Another example from the novel is when Holden was walking back to the hotel in the freezing cold, and "I took my red hunting hat out of my pocket and put it on—I didn't give a damn how I looked" (115). The event shows how the hat symbolizes Holden's character of being able to fight through the cold because of his endurance and how faithful he is. Indeed, the red hunting hat is a major part of Holden's character. Altogether, these scenes stated above show how the red hunting hat symbolizes his determination, poise, and spunk.
The Ducks/Pond as a Symbol
The novel The Catcher in the Rye has a profuse amount of symbols that are present widely in the novel. One of these dominant symbols is the ducks and the pond. This first comes up in the novel when Holden is on a taxi in New York. He asks the driver "By any chance, so you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over [at that lagoon]" (78). These ducks and the pond symbolize Holden's curiosity about life. He is wondering where the ducks go during the winter to survive when the pond is frozen. These ducks greatly symbolize the actions of Holden as he goes through a tough time in his life and he is trying to survive. He is failing four out of his five classes at Pencey, his prep school, and he can’t deicide what to do during his tough time. He is facing a taut time with his school, while the ducks are facing a tough time during the winter.
Again, he asks another taxi driver, Horowitz, what do the ducks do in the little lake during the winter. He makes suggestions as what the ducks do in the winter: “I mean does somebody come around in a truck or something and them away, or do they fly away by themselves – go south or something” (107). Indirectly, he is trying to ask advice on his own life and what he...

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