Catcher In The Rye Identity Analysis

991 Words4 Pages
The Catcher in the Rye is a fictional novel written by S.D Salinger. Sixteen year old Holden Caulfield has flunked out of the prestigious, all-boys Pencey Prep boarding school in Connecticut. But, Holden did not fail every class, except for English, for nothing. Holden wants to leave Pencey. He is tired of feeling rejected by the phonies and the fakes at Pencey, so Holden leaves and goes to New York. In an emotional hast to find where he belongs, Holden encounters multiple characters both negative and positive that guide him in the direction as to “where”, or rather how to find a place, in society. The Catcher in the Rye focuses on identity from both personal and public perspectives. Catcher in the Rye explores Holden’s personal identity through his symbolic red hunting hat.
Holden’s red hunting hat represents Holden intense, raw feelings that he conceals within himself. At the beginning of the book, Holden’s roommate, Stradlater, asks him to write a descriptive composition for him for English class while he is on a date with Holden’s old neighbor, Jane. Holden thinks that Stradlater is handsome and charming. Yet, Stradlater is a “secret slob” which is why Holden doesn’t like him. Despite his personal feelings about Stradlater, “After he left, I put on my pajamas and bathrobe and my old hunting hat, and started writing the composition” (Salinger 43.) Stradlater’s instructions were to write a description about or room or something simple, but Holden writes about his brother Allie’s baseball mitt. Allie is Holden’s younger brother who died of leukemia.
…show more content…
The red hunting hat is a physical display on how Holden manipulates his ideals to be accepted in society. His hunting hat plays a major role in developing the story because it emphasizes the struggle Holden has in not only trying to find himself but how he can apply his beliefs and still be accepted by
Open Document