What are two chapters in Foster's How to Read Literature Like a Professor that relate to The Catcher in the Rye?

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mdelmuro | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Two chapters that are definitely relevant to Catcher in the Rye are "It's More Than Just Rain or Snow" and "Is that a Symbol?"

The argument in "It's More Than Just Rain or Snow" is this: weather is almost always more than just a plot device; it's often symbolic of emotions or included to bring about some type of emotional response within a reader. Catcher in the Rye takes place in winter in New York. Things are freezing. Personally, Holden is going through a crisis of character. He's frozen at this stage in his life and does not know what to do. Holden also gives voice to the change that occurs in winter by continually asking where the ducks go when the pond in Central Park freezes over.

Symbols are everywhere in Catcher in the Rye. The two most prominent symbols in the novel are Holden's red hunting hat and the Natural History Museum. Holden wears the red hunting hat whenever he feels threatened or embarrassed. It's a sort of shield for him. The Natural History Museum symbolizes Holden's fear of change (remember the ducks?). He likes everything frozen in place.

Many other chapters from How to Read Literature Like a Professor are relevant, particularly the two chapters about sex.

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