The Catcher in the Rye

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The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is a suspenseful novel about a 16 year old boy, Holden Caulfield, and his life changing experiences. The author uses humor and symbolism to make his points and defuse the pain Holden is going through in his struggle. As he wanders through the city the meaning of his life is gradually revealed to him; that he must face life and its problems rather then running away from it.

Holden lives in New York and goes to boarding school there but is very unhappy, fails almost allhis classes and is expelled from school. He neglects to tell his parents about his recent expulsion because Thanksgiving is approaching and he doesn't want to upset them . After quarrelling with his roommate, Holden storms out with his belongings and takes a train to New York City. There he resides in various hotels feeling depressed and reflecting on who he is and where his life is going.He meets some of his old friends and his sister to try to find the answers to his problems. After several days of wandering he decides to go home for the holiday and he finds the answers he was searching for.

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At various points during the novel, Holden inquires as to what happens to the ducks, that live in a pond located in Central Park, when the winter comes and the water freezes.The repetition of this question symbolizes what Holden is truly asking for himself. He isn't trying to find out what will happen to the ducks, he is really finding out about the ducks symbolically. He doesn't consciously realize that the ducks relate to him but whether he will admit it or not, he is very scared. He has been expelled from numerous schools, he can't get good grades, his parents are angry with him, and he spends his days wandering through New York City. Holden is confused as to where he wants to go, reflecting the question about the ducks. He is pondering on whether or not to go home, which he is afraid of, or stay outside a…