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Dondershine, A - Hunting Hat/Preserve Innocence - 4

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Neil Sullivan

on 21 May 2014

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Transcript of Dondershine, A - Hunting Hat/Preserve Innocence - 4

Thank You!
When Stradlater is explaining his date plans Holden starts to become nervous
He uses the hat, maybe even unconsciously, to shield off the nerves
Another example off the hat serving as a protecter
When Holden is walking in the cold he puts on the hat - not just to keep him warm
The hat protects him from the awfulness of the adult world of experience (he stays in his comfort of innocence)
Holden gives the hat to Phoebe as he's leaving
She's the only "innocent" person who he actually likes
The hat's connection to Phoebe is Holden's attempt to try and preserve her innocence with the same item that preserves his
Hunting Hat - Desire to Preserve Innocence
Alex Dondershine
Catcher in the Rye
The red hat serves as a protecter of the outside, evil world
Used in this particular scene connects the hat to the innocent, childlike carousel
"I pulled the peak of my hunting hat around to the front all of a sudden, for a change. I was getting sort of nervous, all of a sudden. I'm quite a nervous guy." pg. 34
Desire to Preserve
Innocence
Desire to Preserve
Innocence

"But it was freezing cold and took my red hunting hat out of my pocket and put it on- I didn't give a damn how I looked. I even put the earlaps down." pg. 88
"Then what she did- it damn near killed me- she reached in my coat pocket and took out my red hunting hat and put it on my head." pg.212
Desire to Preserve
Innocence
Desire to Preserve
Innocence
"Then I took my hunting hat out of my coat pocket and gave it to her. She likes those kind of crazy hats. She didn't want to take it, but I made her. I'll bet she slept with it on. She really likes those kind of hats." pg.180
This simple item signifies a lot more than just a hat!!
Holden and his red hunting hat
Conclusions
The hat is Holden's way of trying to preserve both the innocence of himself and Phoebe
The hat helps him shield himself from the phoniness of adults
Conclusions
Worth noting that Salinger saw some of the worst action in WWII- maybe had an item like the hat to help him cope
Also interesting that it's a hunting hat as opposed to a normal baseball hat- symbolic of Holden's fighting back violently (like hunting) to the natural process of growing up
Salinger's purpose of the hunting hat is to give Holden's story more purpose and symbolism that the reader can relate to as opposed to just some teenager complaining
Hat is red- same color as Allie/Phoebe's hair- innocence
Full transcript