Catcher in the Rye Author Information: Jerome David Salinger was born in New York City in 1919. He attended and graduated from a military academy, then shortly attended two colleges. He has written some of the most influential American literature in the twentieth century. Some of his short stories originally appeared in the New Yorker magazine and were later published as in the book, Nine Stories. However, Salinger has not published anything since 1963. Analysis: I have chosen to do symbolism.
The symbols are clearly made evident by Holden's constant repetition of their importance. The symbols are so important and their symbolism are directly related to the major themes of the novel. Allie, Holden's young brother who died some years earlier, was a key symbol through out the story. When Holden remembers incidents from his past involving Allie, his attitude changes, like as when he writes the composition about Allie's baseball glove or when Holden broke his hand after punching all of the windows after Allie died.
He feels that Allie was one of the few people who were not phony in a world full of phonies. But more importantly, Allie represents the childhood that Holden strives to find through out his multi-day journey. In Holden's opinion, Allie represents the purity that Holden looks for in the world. Holden admits that he admires Allie more than he admires Jesus. Allie is Holden's role model, whom he judges the rest of the world to. When Allie dies, it creates heartache in Holden's life.
Another symbol is when walking through New York City, Holden arrives at the Museum of Natural History. He remarks about the museum that he likes the glass cases that the museum officials place all of their exhibits in. He wishes he could place parts of his life in glass cases because they won't change. In the end, he decides not to go into the museum. He likes the museum because he used to go there in his childhood, a time that he remembers with happiness. Since the glass cases inside the museum don't allow anyone to change anything, it would be the one place for Holden to go if he wanted everything to be as it was during his childhood.
However, he elects to remain outside because he is afraid that there is a chance that the museum might have changed. Jane Gallagher changed since his childhood and Holden thought that was unbelievable, so if Jane could change, perhaps the museum could change, as well. Holden knows that if the museum does not remain the same, it could hurt him, so he makes a conscious decision not to enter, even if his reasons are subconscious. Catcher in the Rye was a very powerful and symbolic book written from the position of a troubled teenager.
The themes are clearly illustrated through the symbols, which Holden makes sure the reader recognizes. Personal Opinion: I really liked the book, it wasn't too long and it make me think. Alot. I've always wanted to read that book.
The book confused me at some parts but it was nothing compared to Hamlet. I'm sure you have all ready read this book.