Is The Catcher In The Rye a Classic?

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The Catcher in the Rye: a Classic Novel It is quite difficult to capture the essence of what a classic novel really is, especially in the case of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. However, there are a few common characteristics that are prevalent between different classic novels; those being symbols that can be interpreted in more than one way, while giving the reader an insight to the characters, irregular syntax that allows for realistic sentence flow, and themes that allows for further understanding of the protagonist. One characteristic that makes the Catcher in the Rye a classic is its use of complex symbols to help the reader understand the rebellious 16 year old protagonist, Holden Caulfield. Throughout the story, Holden often wonders about the ducks in Central Park, and asks where they go for the winter to the various cab drivers he meets throughout the story. “You know those ducks in that lagoon near central park? That little lake? By any chance do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over?” (Salinger 60). The migration of the ducks is most likely a symbol for Holden’s trauma from the death of his little brother, Allie, and to a lesser extent, the suicide of his old classmate, James Castle. The ducks always come back from migration, symbolizing that the trauma is only temporary. The ducks can also be understood in a different way: when the harsh winter comes, the ducks leave for somewhere warmer, and more hospitable. Holden is looking for a safe haven from the harsh and nasty world he lives in, and he wonders where he should go. No matter how it is interpreted, this symbol gives the reader a better understanding of Holden and how he thinks. The fact that the symbol of the duck can be interpreted in many ways and leaves things up for the reader to decide, while also delivering an insight into Holden’s psyche, gives

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