What Does Holden Red Hunting Hat Symbolizes?

Topics: Debut albums / Pages: 2 (427 words) / Published: Oct 12th, 2012
What does Holden’s red hunting hat symbolize?
You may want to consider: How Holden got his hat, the many different ways he wears it and what each means, the color, what purpose the hat serves for Holden. Include quotes about the hat.

Holden’s red hunting hat is one of the most noticeable symbols in the Catcher in the Rye. After reading the book every time we think of Holden, we imagine him wearing the hat. It represents his peculiar personality and his desire of being different from everyone else, even though he does not wears it around people he knows. For example when he says: “That hat I bought had earlaps in it, and I out them on— I didn’t give a damn how I looked. Nobody was around anyway. Everybody was in the sack.” He bought the red hunting hat during his trip to New York, for just one dollar, after he left the fencing team equipment in the subway. So we can say that he was feeling angry with himself at the time he bought it. He is complimented several times while wearing the hat, even Ackley wanted to keep it.

The hat comforts him in many ways. It serves as a camouflage from the outer world as well as an attention grabber. Moreover as an object that links him to his family especially his deceased brother Allie, and his sister Phoebe, the two persons he unconditionally shows love for since they are both red headed. Like when he uses it while writing Stradlater’s composition about Allie’s baseball mitt. Also it represents himself as a child and it is strongly linked to a main theme in the book: childhood. We can assume that because he takes it off when he’s on his way to a bar and at the hotel. At the end of the book the hat becomes a pure symbol of the Phoebe and Holden feeling for each other. The following excerpt justifies it: “Then all of a sudden she gave me a kiss” and “Then she did—it damn near Killed me—she reached in my coat pocket and took out my red hunting hat and put it on my head.”

In conclusion, this red hunting hat was

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