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Symbolism in the Catcher in the Rye Catcher in the Rye is a very powerful symbolic book written from the perspective of a troubled teenager who seems to be excluded from and victimized by the world around him by his own choice Throughout the novel the reader is presented with various symbols The symbols are clearly evident in Holdens constant repetition of their importance and their symbolism is directly related to the major themes of the novel In this essay I am going to analyze the key symbols and refer them to the major themes of the novel Firstly the characters of Allie Jane Gallagher and Phoebe represent Holdens perception of innocence and childhood Allie Holdens younger brother is one of the few people who were not phony in a world full of phonies More importantly Allie symbolizes the innocence and childhood that Holden strives to find throughout his multi-day journey thus consciously resisting the process of maturity Because of his early death Allie always remains an innocent child in Holdens eyes In a way this helps Holden to cope with his brothers death It is clear why Holden does not want any child to grow into an adult which is impossible for Allie as he is eternal young in Holdens memory Therefore Allie is lucky he does not have to deal with the negative aspects of human mature life anymore This leads to an immense amount of adoration Holden feels towards Allie Moreover Allie becomes Holdens role model by the prism of whom he judges the rest of the world Then there is Jane Gallagher an everlasting symbol of goodness from Holdens childhood She exists in his recollections as an innocent girl playing checkers Therefore even though he later finds her attractive he never builds up the nerves to contact her because he can perceive her only in the terms of absolute purity In addition she is
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