English 3 Honors, 7
October 19, 2014
Alienation at its Finest
The teenage years are some of the most stressful and complicated moments of life even though some adults may not remember. In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, the protagonist Holden Caulfield struggles with himself on trying to connect with someone in New York and deals with situations that most teenagers go through. By alienating himself, Holden Caulfield is a confused male who complicates himself by not knowing what to do in life. Holden Caulfield faces many problems that all relate to him in a way. Holden’s red hunting hat reveals his sympathy within himself and his surroundings. Not only does the red hunting hat describe Holden, but there is a connection made between history and people. To Holden, The Museum of Natural History represents consistency. Everyone wonders what will life be like once graduating high school but almost everyone has an idea of where to. The ducks in the lagoon in Central Park make Holden question himself; where he will end up in life? It is obvious that all these symbols have to do something with Holden’s actions and way of thinking. Salinger uses the symbols of the red hunting hat, the Museum of Natural History, and the ducks on the lagoon in Central Park to convey Holden’s alienation. The red hunting hat is a remembrance of Allie and makes Holden’s way of feeling safe. For example, “My hunting hat really gave me quite a lot of protection, in a way, but I got soaked anyway” (212-213). Phoebe puts the red hunting hat on Holden’s head and makes him feel really content. Holden would watch his sister go around the carrousel which revealed how much Holden adores her. Holden tends to give Phoebe his red hunting hat so it can also protect her like it protects him. By Holden wearing the red hunting hat, it gives him the safety and protection from the adulthood world. On the other hand, Holden’s brother Allie “had very...
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