English p. 7
TCITR- second half
From the first half of the book The Catcher in the Rye Holden Caulfield starts to resolve some of the inner conflicts that he faced at the beginning of the book. However, there are other conflicts that Holden still needs to overcome. For instance, when Holden is in New York, after he gets drunk, he heads down to Central Park to see if the ducks are still there (page 154). Holden wanted to know where they went in the winter and how they got there (page 60). Holden was comparing his life to the ducks and how he didn't know where his life was going and what he was going to do. Naturally when Holden got to the pond there were no ducks there. It was half frozen and the middle of winter. Holden knows that the ducks flew away by themselves, he just doesn't want to accept it. Holden probably hopes that they were carried off by a truck. He thinks this because he hopes that like the ducks someone will come along and point the route to the rest of his life for him. Also, I think the pond freezing over was symbolic of how Holden has to act before he can't anymore or else he will get frozen in the ice.
Holden is still trying to deal with the conflict of growing up. When talking to the nuns in the sandwich bar, Holden talks about the plays he's read, one of them being Romeo and Juliet. Holden tells them that "I liked him best in the play, old Mercutio.(page 111)" In Romeo and Juliet the Capulets and Montagues are constantly having family feuds. Mercutio, who was of neither family got stuck in the middle of the fighting of both families and died as a result. In Holden's life if he was Mercutio, then the two families would be his childhood and adulthood. If he tries to get in the middle of them then he will die like Mercutio.
One thing that bothers Holden tremendous amount are "f--- you" 's on the wall in Phoebe's school. This "drove me (Holden) crazy.(page 201)" Holden also sees it written in the museum as well. Holden explains "That's the whole trouble. You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any.(page 204) The "F--- you" 's are being compared hear to the evil and things in the world that people have to deal with. Holden "hardly had the guts to rub it of the wall...(page 201)" This was showing how hard it is to get rid of the evil. Especially since no matter where you go you'll see a "F--- you."
The title of the novel "The Catcher in the Rye" I believe is symbolic of how Holden wants to save the people who fall out of the rye. Holden explains how he would be the catcher in the rye, standing on the edge of a cliff, and how he would catch all of the little kids who would be playing in the rye, before they fell over the cliff. Holden standing on the edge of the cliff is about to fall over himself but he stays and helps any little kids that come to the edge of the cliff. The cliff could be any of Holden's problems. He stands on the edge of breaking down and when Phoebe comes to the edge of the cliff, Holden wants to catch her and send her back into the rye, which is the steady stream of a normal life. This is why Holden treats Phoebe like an adult and doesn't want anything to happen to her. This is also why he didn't want her to go with him out west, because he wanted her to stay in the rye and not fall over the edge of the cliff with him. In a way though Phoebe pulled Holden back into the rye with her so that he wouldn't fall over the edge either by going to the west. And at the end of the book Holden gets psychoanalyzed. Maybe Holden will start heading out of the rye to the cliff again later, or maybe he will go farther into the rye. "I mean how do you know what you're going to do till you do it? The answer is, you don't.(page 213)"