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Hunting Hat : Symbolism Of The Catcher In The Rye

Decent Essays
Throughout the whole novel, Holden keeps his red hunting hat with him or on his head at all times. However, as soon as he talked to his younger sister, Phoebe, and leaves the apartment, he gave her his hat. Holden’s hat has to be very important to him since he has it with him everyday, but giving it up just after seeing his sister must have a great significance. It’s a possibility this quote was to show that Holden was suffering from suicidal thoughts since giving up personal belongings is a symptom of it. However, his hat could have a bigger meaning. Red is a color that is associated with anger and adventure. So, Holden’s hunting hat may symbolize how cynical he is when he refers to other people as phonies and how adventurous he is on his journey towards maturity. When he gives up his hat, he could be giving up his bitter attitude towards people and reaching an end towards his innocence. To support this, after this quote, Holden suddenly stopped using the word phony and started to accept things as they are (such as Phoebe possibly falling off a carousel).

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For Holden to hire a prostitute, just so they could talk shows the reader how desperate he is to find an outlet and communicate with someone. Throughout the book, Holden holds symptoms of depression and suicide such as starving himself, not sleeping enough and being easily irritable. At the time, Holden couldn’t call people he knew because it
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