In this half of the book, I finally figured out why the ducks in Central Park mean so much to Holden Caulfied. After coming out of school, Holden never knew where to go next or what he should do next. The ducks intrigued him because they went somewhere when they had no where to go. He wanted to know where they went so that maybe he could go somewhere too. I believe the ducks in the winter symbolized his life, and when they leave, it gave him hope of a better life ahead for him as well as the ducks. The record was also symbolic of Holden's life. At the point in the book, nothing had been going right, and suddenly the record shatters and breaks. I'm sure he felt exactly as the record did at that time. He was lost and lonely, and just needed some love. When he met with Phoebe, things just started to fall into place again. Even though the record was broken, Phoebe still showed her love for it.
The title of the book meant so much, and brought out the true meaning of Holden. At the beginning, I felt that Holden was very bitter, resentful, and mean to so many people and things. When he says he wants to be the Catcher in the Rye, just like in the song, I believed that inside he is a good person. He wanted to save all those happy little children from falling into the rut he was in. He wanted to save them before they came across the problems he had come across. The major problem here was that in order to save all those children, he needed to save himself first.
Another major symbol in the book was the museum. The museum was his childhood. He has so many memories there, and spent so many happy innocent times there. He remembered the museum to be a place that stayed stable and didn't change. He felt the same way about his life. He didn't want it to change. He wanted what he had when he was younger: innocence, love, and naivet*. The museum only held good things, and he wanted his life to hold only the good. Holden didn't realize until pretty late, that he had the love he so longed for from Jane, D.B., Allie, and most importantly, Phoebe.
Before Holden leaves Phoebe's bedroom that night, he starts crying. He was at a point where he realized people did care about him. Phoebe had given him her money in his trust, and he felt more than overly grateful. He finally figured out that he needed to take charge and responsibility of his own life, and he had people help him do that. He no longer wanted to fail all his classes, but instead become maybe not successful, but "whole" as the person he really is.
The Catcher in the Rye 1
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