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Near the end of the novel, Holden goes to visit Phoebe, and he takes her to Central Park. There he watches while she rides the carousel. The horses of the carousel are described as looking wild with their mouths open as they go around the circle. Phoebe, however, is not afraid and she chooses a horse to ride. Holden thinks that this image suggests children taking risks and thus learning through experience. So, the imagery in this scene complicates the typical sense of innocence that surrounds children's carousels and merry-go-rounds--the element of experience is present. Through this image of Phoebe taking on a risk, Holden's views about the disillusionment of adulthood are challenged.
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