Examples Of Motifs In Catcher In The Rye

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Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, and literary devices that can help develop and inform the text 's major themes. One of the recurring themes in the novel The Catcher in the Rye is the pervasive theme of death. It could be argued that the novel is not only full of references to death in the literal sense, physical disappearance, but also in the metaphorical, taking the form of spiritual disappearance, something which Holden often focuses on, along with the actual theme of mortality. It is possible that this occurs because of his reluctance to interact with the living world. As his means of escaping from the reality he despises, his mundane thoughts and the “phoniness” that he is surrounded by. Holden becomes increasingly attracted to the idea and comes close to obsession, as his mind is flooded with thoughts of death and disappearance, as well as questions which are revealed throughout the novel.…show more content…
Furthermore, Holden also refers to his fears of disappearing as to not mention death, a term with which he has not fully come to terms with, “every time I came to the end of a block and stepped off the goddam curb, I had this feeling that I 'd never get to the other side of the street. I thought I 'd just go down, down, down, and nobody 'd ever see me again”. (Salinger 2010: 106) This is also what causes him to wonder if the ducks of the lake have vanished. In contrast to that come the mummies in the museum, whose death seems alright in Holden’s perspective since they did not disappear after it. One of the reasons that Holden feels so uneasy with the idea of death, is that he sometimes sees the matter bluntly without romanticising it, unable to feel comforted by a ceremony and flowers, knowing that no one is really there to appreciate them other than the living relatives, since the body eventually decomposes and disappears."People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you 're dead?".
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