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Private Schooling
"It was a terrible school, no matter how you
`Pencey Prep School' looked at it."P2
Holden seems eager to leave this "Pencey was full of crooks,"P3
`terrible' school from the beginning of the
novel. He manages to do this at the end "I got feeling so lonesome and rotten, I even
of chapter 7. felt like waking Ackley up."P42
Pencey Prep School is a symbol of the phony, "It was very quiet and depressing in the
money-orientated world that Holden lives in... corridor"P44
Basically, everything that he wants to escape
from is Pencey Prep.
"All of a sudden, I decided what I'd really do, I'
d get out of Pencey ­ right the same night and
all."P45…read more

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Corruption, fear of adulthood...
`Old Mr Spencer' "It was very depressing"P12
Holden wants to escape from Mr
Spencer because he's sick of the smell
of Vicks Nose Drops, Mr Spencer's way
"But I just couldn't hang around there any
and found it very depressing.
longer, the way we were on opposite sides of
the pole, and the way he kept missing the bed
First impressions of Holden Caulfield? whenever he chucked something at it, and his
old sad bathrobe with his chest showing, and
How does Holden Caulfield deal emotionally that gripping smell of Vicks Nose Drops all over
with death and old age? the place."P13…read more

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Corruption, fear of adulthood...
"I mean if a boy's mother was sort of fat or
Holden Caulfield corny-looking or something, and if somebody's
thinks you're a phony! father was one of those guys that wear those
suits with very big shoulders and corny black-
and-white shoes, then old Hans would just
`Phony' is a generic word which Holden shake hands with them and give them a phony
uses to describe people with smile and then he'd go talk, for maybe a half
characteristics that he dislikes. He tries an hour, with somebody else's parents. I can't
to escape these people in the novel, and stand that stuff. It drives me crazy. It makes
more so from being one himself. me so depressed I go crazy. I hated that
goddam Elkton Hills." Page 8…read more

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Use of symbols and motifs
`The Ducks'
"Then I thought of something, all of a sudden.
Holden's fascination for `The Ducks'
`Hey listen,' I said. `...By any chance, do you
appear to be a motif for escape. If we
happen to know where they go, the ducks,
change `the ducks' to `I' for example,
when it gets all frozen over?"P54
"Where do I go when it gets all frozen
over?" This could be seen as Holden's
cry for help.
"The fish ­ that's different. The fish s different.
I'm talking about the ducks."P75…read more

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Use of symbols and motifs
`The Red Hunting Hat' "I took my old hunting hat out of my pocket
while I walked and put it on. I knew I wouldn't
The uniqueness of the red hunting hat
meet anybody that knew me, and it was pretty
could be a sign that Holden wants to
damp out"
escape the generic people in society and
be an individual. He also gets self
"My hunting hat really gave me quite a lot of
conscious when wearing it though, so
protection, in a way; but I got soaked anyway"
this might signify that he hates being
Chapter 25
different and is in search of
"I pulled the peak of my hunting hat around to
Why is the colour of the hat red? Phoebe the front all of a sudden, for a change. I was
and Allie's hair is red, is he enforcing this getting sort of nervous, all of a sudden. I'm
colour on himself to escape adulthood? quite a nervous guy" Chapter 4…read more

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