F. Salinger 's The Catcher Of The Rye

1343 Words Apr 25th, 2016 6 Pages
Often, Authors use specific objects, ideas, or characters to express larger meanings in the book, or in real life. In The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, Salinger uses many symbols in his novel to show the difficulties of Holden’s life. By including the symbols of Holden’s red hunting hat, death, windows, James Castle, and the ducks, Salinger explores many of Holden’s inner thoughts and difficulties of growing up, especially with the loss of loved ones.
The Red Hunting Hat that Holden wears symbolizes the individuality, uniqueness, and Holden’s choice to hide from society. The entire book can be condensed into this one symbol, mainly because it is his personality and character. While this hat can protect him from conversation, weather, and let him focus on his thoughts and feelings, it also makes him stand out. These quotes covey this contradiction well: “I took my red hunting hat out of my pocket and put it on -- I didn’t give a damn how I looked. (115)” Here, Holden is walking back to his crumby hotel from Ernie’s night club. When he is in the club, he is just another guy, sitting at the bar wasting his life away, drinking too much, and listening to Ernie play the piano. But, when Holden steps outside and puts on his hat, he becomes another person. He is no longer a nobody, he is an individual. He is protected from talking to all the phonies in the bar, and from the freezing cold weather outside. While he is protected from everyone, he is able to enter his world and…
Open Document