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Transcript of Margaret Dail
Isolation as a form of protection and the hunting hat in The Catcher in the Rye
The Hunting Hat
Holden's hunting hat is a symbol of alienation and protection. Wearing the hat makes him very unique and different, giving him a reason to alienate himself more from others.
"I wore it, I swung the old peak way around to the back-very corny, I'll admit, but I liked it that way." [Chapter 3 Page 18]
Hat Quote 2
[Ackley] took another look at my hat . . . “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.” [Chapter 3 Page 22]
Holden likes his hat to be different and unlike any anyone has seen before. It sets him apart from the others and makes him seem unique.
Isolation as a form of protection
"The reason I was standing way up on Thomsen Hill, instead of down at the game, was because I'd just got back from New York with the fencing team. I'm the goddam manager of the fencing team. Very big deal." [Page 3-Chapter 1]
Throughout the book, Holden keeps himself secluded from the other boys and from having a social life at school. Holden feels he is "superior" to the other boys of his school and is too good to be friends with them or spend time with them. He uses this as a form of protection from rejection.
From the beginning of the book, we can tell that Holden is a recluse and is more of an introvert. He uses the hunting hat to make himself different than everyone else for two reasons: to have more of a reason to be standoffish and distant and as a way to make himself better than everyone else.