Holden's red hunting hat is a symbol of his alienation. It protects him, and makes him feel unique, but also singles him out as strange, which in turn reinforces his alienation. The hat is also a symbol of Holden's attachment to childhood—it's the kind of goofy accessory that a proper adult wouldn't wear.
Holden's Red Hunting Hat Quotes in The Catcher in the Rye
The The Catcher in the Rye quotes below all refer to the symbol of Holden's Red Hunting Hat. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Little, Brown edition of The Catcher in the Rye published in 2001.
[Ackley] took another look at my hat while he was cleaning them. "Up home we wear a hat like that to shoot deer in, for Chrissake," he said. "That's a deer shooting hat." "Like hell it is." I took it off and looked at it. I sort of closed one eye, like I was taking aim at it. "This is a people shooting hat," I said. "I shoot people in this hat."
Related Characters:Holden Caulfield (speaker), Robert Ackley (speaker)
Related Symbols:Holden's Red Hunting Hat
Page Number and Citation:
Explanation and Analysis:
Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Catcher in the Rye quote.
When I was all set to go, when I had my bags and all, I stood for a while next to the stairs and took a last look down the goddam corridor. I was sort of crying. I don't know why. I put my red hunting hat on, and turned the peak around to the back, the way I liked it, and then I yelled at the top of my goddam voice, "Sleep tight, ya morons!" I'll bet I woke up every bastard on the whole floor. Then I got the hell out.
Holden's Red Hunting Hat Symbol Timeline in The Catcher in the Rye
The timeline below shows where the symbol Holden's Red Hunting Hat appears in The Catcher in the Rye. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Alone in his room, Holden reads Isaac Dinesen's Out of Africa while wearing his new red hunting cap . But Robert Ackley, Holden's neighbor, barges in. Ackley is repulsive, with bad skin and...
After Stradlater leaves, Holden puts on his red hunting hat and looks at his face in the mirror. He thinks the blood makes him look...
...which makes her furious. He starts to feel faint again. When she angrily returns his hunting hat, he promises not to go away at all. She remains angry, even when he offers...
...the same song it played when he was a kid. Phoebe gives Holden back his red hunting hat and he puts it on as rain starts to fall. The hat protects him, and...
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Kestler, Justin. "The Catcher in the Rye Symbols: Holden's Red Hunting Hat." LitCharts. LitCharts LLC, 22 Jul 2013. Web. 1 Nov 2017.
Kestler, Justin. "The Catcher in the Rye Symbols: Holden's Red Hunting Hat." LitCharts LLC, July 22, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2017. http://www.litcharts.com/lit/the-catcher-in-the-rye/symbols/holden-s-red-hunting-hat.