Dealing with Change
Everybody has a hard time dealing with change. It’s no joke. Some go to the extreme to try and not make things change; others just cannot accept that it happened, while some people choose not to move on from it. In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye the main character Holden Caulfield, a troubled young man, is going through a tough time in life where everything is moving so quickly. He cannot accept the fact that he is becoming an adult and needs to start behaving as well as act like one. He constantly wants to be treated like an adult, but never acts like one. The reason for this is because he does not want to let go of ...view middle of the document...
“The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was… You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish…” (121).The museum represents frozen time. Everything in the museum is frozen in one moment of time and would never change. Holden likes the idea of this because he wants to stay young; therefore not having to grow up and be like every adult. By being like the Eskimo display, he'll be frozen in one moment in time and never have to change. The carrousel is a strong image that represents dealing with change because, his sister, Phoebe, is too big to ride the carrousel, but he still buys a ticket for her anyways. This shows that Holden doesn’t want his sister to grow up so fast and he is having a hard time accepting that she is getting older. These 3 images have clearly developed Holden’s main problem, dealing with change.
The symbols in the book that show that Holden is having a hard time dealing with change would be Pency Prep, the ducks in the pond, and the broken Little Shirley Beans record. Holden goes to a boarding school called Pency Prep. This is the second school that he flunked out of. He did not apply himself well in previous school, and now he is not doing the same at this school. He is trying to change or get rid of his bad habits, but they are not working. He continues to do what he has been doing at his previous school which is slacking off. The ducks in the pond are a very symbolic image. He questions the cab driver, Hortwiz, about it, “Well you know the ducks that swim around in it? In the springtime and all? Do you know where they go in the wintertime, by any chance?”(81) The ducks in the pond have to deal with the changes that happen in life or else they would die. Holden asks about the ducks mainly because he wants to know how the ducks deal with change, and what will the outcomes be. The ice covering the lake for the ducks is like the pressures that Holden has on him. The pressures that he is going through are making it hard for him to deal with the changes that have happened in his life so far. The Little Shirley Beans record is a symbol of childhood. Holden’s sister, Phoebe, enjoys listing to this record. The record only plays one song and never changes. Holden wants to get this record for his sister because he wants her to stay a child for now, and not grow up. When the record breaks,...