Catcher in the Rye - Symbolism

Catcher in the Rye - Symbolism

Sean Hughes
English 11
Symbolism; CITR

“The Catcher in the Rye”
This saying, which also happens to be the title, is very symbolic to Holden and how he interprets it. This song appears first in chapter 16 with a kid singing the song and Holden admires this kid for his innocence and respects it. It then appears again in chapter 22 when Phoebe asks what Holden wants to do with his life and he tells her he wants to catch the kids in the rye after she corrects him of the lyrics. This is symbolic because this song is saying that it’s not wrong for two people to have romantic encounters away from the field. Holden takes the song latterly as catching the children, his interpretation is childish as he takes it word for word but in the sense of an adult it talks about adult encounters, which Holden is trying to avoid. Holden would like to do what the song is saying, which is romantic encounters, but Holden doesn’t realize this as he is trying to avoid this in actuality.

Holden’s Red Hunting Hat
Holden wears this red hunting hat throughout the book when he is near a place where he knows nobody. This hat is unique; it is very bright red and almost funny looking. This symbolizes Holden, for he is also unique and tried to be different from the norm, but he often does not wear it around people he knows. Another characterisitic about the hat is its color; it is red like Phoebes and Allies hair color. This may resemble the innocence that Allie had or the innocence and purity that Phoebe has and Holden wish he had.

The Museum of Natural History
This place is very symbolic to Holden and how his life falls into place. In the museum Holden mentions how he loves it, everything stays where it is, nothing moves, he knows where everything is and how it is because they don’t move. This resembles his life. Things are changing in his life but he can’t stand it and gets very aggravated. He wants nothing to change in his life, like a child he is use to everything...

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