Red Hunting Hat Symbolism Catcher In The Rye

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The world is full of images. Images are motionless in nature, yet they capture the essence of moments. These images help people in better understanding what the moment is about or what it is trying to illustrate. Similarly, Symbols work in the same manner. In this case, symbols aided in depicting J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and its main character, Holden Caulfield. The novel presents four vital symbols—namely, The red hunting hat, the ducks, the Carrousel, and the golden ring. All of these objects symbolize a specific aspect of The Catcher in the Rye and help in effectively portraying Holden’s emotions, thoughts and his story overall. The first symbol that appears in the novel is the red hunting hat. It is perhaps one of the most…show more content…
It gives him confidence and comfort during times of distress. The hunting hat initially appears in chapter 3 when Holden was reminiscing in his room. Although, it isn’t until the later chapters of the novel that this object becomes vital to the plot. In chapter 20, it is seen that Holden was drunk, dismal, and alone as he said “I was crying and all. I don’t know why, but I was. I guess it was because I was feeling so damn depressed and lonesome” (Salinger 169). Later on, he strikes up a conversation with the hat-check girl and Holden shows her his hunting hat – which the girl likes. Subsequently, the girl makes Holden wear it. He then feels a little better after wearing it, saying “I didn’t feel too drunk anymore when I went outside” (169). In numerous chapters in the novel, Holden noticeably wears the red hunting hat in instances wherein he was depressed or lonesome. Consequently, after wearing it he would feel better about himself and have more confidence in his actions. This is because the red hunting hat represents Holden’s true self. If there is anything that would make someone feel better in times of distress, it would be their own true self. Of course, a person who is true to himself will not doubt his
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