Essay on Red Hunting Hat

723 Words Mar 25th, 2012 3 Pages
What does symbolism add to a book? It adds morals and depth to the novel. It makes the reader learn something interesting or lets them gain knowledge of something that can change their outlook on how they perceive things. In the novel Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, it is about a perplexed boy, Holden Caulfield. He has trouble dealing the issue of growing up. One of the major symbols in the book is Holden’s red hunting hat. Salinger uses the hat to signify Holden’s need for comfort and his adolescent problems and pressures.

To begin, when reading the novel one seems to come upon Holden‘s red hunting hat many times while reading. This hunting hat demonstrates Holden’s need for safety and comfort. He was deprived of it when he
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But at time his pressure seemed to be a little extreme. “My ears were nice and warm, though. That hat I bought had earlaps in it, and I put them on – I don’t give a damn how I looked. Nobody was around anyway. Everybody was in the sack” (53). This quote exemplifies how Holden tends to take his image to seriously. Yet throughout the novel Holden says that people that are obsessed with their look are phony, showing the reader that at time he is a hypocrite considering he’s obsessed with his look also. Not only does this happen once or twice but numerous times in the book. The quote tries to explain that Holden does not care what people think about him and yet if he did not he would not have announced that everyone was sleeping and nobody could see him. When Stradlater gets home from his date with Jane Gallagher, he and Holden get in a fight. When it is over, both Holden and Stradlater are left in physical pain. “I kept sitting there on the floor till I heard old Stradlater close the door and go down the corridor to the can, then I got up. I couldn’t find my goddam hunting hat anywhere. Finally I found it… I put it on, and turned the old peak around to the back, the way I liked it” (45). The fight that Holden has with Stradlater is about Stradlater going out on a date with Holden’s friend Jane Gallagher. Holden gets upset with Stradlater for doing that because he thinks
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