Holden Caulfield Symbolism Essay

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Symbols The red hunting hat that Holden constantly wears wherever he goes is a prominent symbol in the Catcher in the Rye because it represents Holden’s inner innocence and individuality. Innocence is the one concept that Holden Caulfield struggles to hide. Holden tries to portray himself as this big tough guy. His cocky nature ends up getting him into trouble the majority of the time. He tried to stand up to Stradlater and he got beat up. He tried to play it off like it was nothing. Holden says, “I had blood all over my mouth and chin and even on my pajamas and bath-robe. It partly scared me and it partly fascinated me. All that blood and all sort of made me look tough” (45). Holden is attempting to see something in the mirror that…show more content…
He has his own personality unlike anyone else. Holden uses the word, “Phony” is an insult to anyone who isn’t genuine. He does not want to be associated with phonies and yet, he calls almost everyone he meets a phony. Individuality ties into the concept of the red hunting hat because it’s unique and unusual just like him. Although he associates with the hat, he is very embarrassed about it. Holden says, “I swung the old peak way around to the back- very corny, I’ll admit, but I like it that way. I looked good in that way” (18). He may be self-conscious about the hat and is afraid to wear it sometimes, but at the end of the day he loves it. He explains after being in the cold for a long time, “I took my red hunting hat out of my pocket and put it on- I didn’t give a damn how I looked” (88). The helps Hold feel safe as his own self. It keeps him away from all the phonies the plague the world. At the end of the story Holden finally says, “My hunting hat really gave me quite a lot of protection, in a way” (213). Holden’s red hunting makes him different and remind him of people that aren't phonies like Allie and Phoebe. Holden's red hunting hat is a symbol because it represents how Holden is special and not a
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