On the lookout: Traits Holden is a teenage boy, age 16 during his flashback. During the time he is contemplating on Holden expresses his thoughts, and the reader discovers that he is interested mainly in the following 2 traits: How Innocent And How Phony a person is
In his mind: People Among the basic traits he looked for, in his head Holden also had several people present at times. Jane Gallagher Phoebe Allie D.B. Sunny Sally Hayes
What matters most: Objects Holden has certain value on items and thoughts he possesses. Several of these items are: His red cap Allie’s baseball glove Ducks and their migration pattern The Museum of natural history
If you’re Phony Holden views the world sort of in a Ying and Yang fashion, one being the Innocence in the world which would be a persons’ childhood and the other being the adult world where every adult saw things in a phony method. Holden usually judges someone by how phony they are (not if they are or not). Holden tries to see everyone as innocent, but finds that all adults are phony, presenting traits that seem to somewhat disgust Holden.
Innocence Holden holds innocence as a virtue that goes above all other things. Above holding this trait above all he sees it as one that is lost with the passing of time and the coming of age. A notable character that has this trait is Phoebe, Holden’s younger sister. Holden regrets growing up and despises most adults for having non-pure intentions like that of Phoebe. And because of that Holden sees the innocent and pure children as symbols, and that’s why he wanted to be a catcher in the rye.
Jane Gallagher Jane is also an innocent figure that Holden looks up to. Jane was a girl Holden had spent a summer with, and throughout that summer Holden begins to admire her for her actions and how they where pure. Holden often return to the thoughts of that summer and often compared her with other girls, saying that Jane was beautiful above the rest and innocent, a combination that Holden came to adore.
Phoebe Caulfield Phoebe is Holden’s 10 year old sister, who again is someone Holden highly respects in this novel, although she is 6 years younger. This is the only character that Holden has in his mind 100% of the time and his source of happiness and understanding (Phoebe seems to be the only person to understand Holden).
Allie Caulfield Allie also is one of the few characters Holden looks up to as sort of a figure, although his life was cut short due to leukemia. Allie always had a little glove that he used while in the baseball field, passed down to Holden. To Holden, Allie was the type of person who was perfect, innocence and all. due to that Allie was also always in Holden’s head, along with Phoebe and Jane.
D.B. Caulfield D.B. is a character that does not get mentioned much but is still somewhat important. D.B. is shown as a perfect example of what Holden holds to be phony, D.B. (Through Holden’s eyes) had potential put prostituted himself and the potential has gone to waste. The need to work and earn a living, or D.B.’s conditions have lead him to do what he is currently doing , and Holden is criticizing him as Phony. The importance of D.B. is that it sets Holden’s standards as to how he judges phony people.
Sunny Sunny is a first introduced as a prostitute who had been requested by Holden through Maurice. Sunny is and important person who tests out Holden for maturity. Holden was still a child in heart even though he requested Sunny. On her arrival, Holden was only interested in talking and nothing else. This demonstrated his maturity through his actions. Due to that, Sunny has taken shape in Holden’s head.
Holden’s Red Cap Holden’s red cap is a very important symbol in the novel. The cap could very well be seen as a sign for safety and security for Holden as well as a sign of identity. When Holden wears this hat he achieve a sort of safety and loses all care for the way he looks or others perceive him and just relaxing. This hat is an important symbol used to identify Holden, and this is always in his head, the fact that it identifies him.
Allie’s Poetry Written Glove This glove is perhaps the most important item that Holden carries with him and in his thoughts at all times. The glove is special because it belonged to Allie, Holden’s little brother. Allie used this glove to write poetry on (in green) while he was playing as an outfielder during baseball. This is a symbol of how Holden refuses to let go of Allie’s innocent memory and he hopes that this glove may be used to catch the children falling of the cliff of innocence (catcher in the rye)
Ducks in Central Park Lagoon The ducks are a key component at one point during the novel. Holden sees the ducks and ponders as to where they go during the winter, perhaps escaping from the wrath of winter. The ducks appeal to Holden because he wonders as to how well he relates to them, he is attempting to soon move to the east coast, due to the harsh conditions he’s faced recently. Holden sees hope in the ducks, seeing them as a ray of hope
Museum of Natural History Near the end of the story Holden re-visits the museum of natural history, one he visited years ago as a child. The museum itself is a symbol that holds strong emotions in Holden, as it is a current place where his memories haven't changed. Even though Holden has grown and has lost his innocence, the museum stays the same preserving the same values as it has been in the past. Holden sees the museum and holds it as if it where a wonder, for they are non changing just as he wishes he could be.
Catcher in the Rye This is totally the biggest symbol in the novel. In chapter 16 Holden begins singing “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye.” which was a song originally about meeting up in a rye field (2 people) and meeting for and affair without being in a relationship with each other. Holden’s still childlike mind misinterpreted the song and viewed it as catching in the rye, catching the children falling of the cliff, the cliff of innocence. Holden’s dream when he grows up is to be the catcher in the rye, the catcher of children. In the end, Phoebe opens Holden’s eyes when she tells him what the song actually says, further showing Holden’s still semi innocent soul and want to be a child.
Conclusion All of the previous slides are details briefly explaining what goes on in Holden Caulfield's head. This was “What is in Holden’s Head”.