The Catcher in the Rye

Holden Caulfield's Character Presented in the Novel

The Catcher in the Rye, written by J.D. Salinger, is seen throughout the narrative repeatedly asking the simple question, ³Where do ducks go in the winter?² The simplicity of this question reflects upon a predicament for Holden that remains of the utmost importance and significance throughout the novel. Although a complex character, Holden many times acts analogous to a childish figure that indulges in simplicity, questioning and answering his own quandaries in a simplified, juvenile manner. His fascination with this question can only be looked upon as the unadulterated, more youthful side to his character. Furthermore, finding the answer to the outlandish question remains a persistent top priority for a character that otherwise gives up on various unambiguous opportunities, events, and positive prospects of his life.

The first time Holden asks about the ducks is on his way to the Edmont hotel. He curiously asks the cab driver that is driving him to the hotel his opinion on where the ducks go during the winter. The query is uncharacteristically off-topic, yet Holden insists with much verve that his question is a genuine one, and hassles the cab driver for a bona fide response. The question can be described as random and...

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