The red hunting hat is one Of the most recognizTABLE symbols from twentieth- century American literature.
It is inseparTABLE from our image of Holder, with good reason: it is a symbol of his uniqueness and individuality. The hat is outlandish, and it shows that Holder desires to be different from everyone around him. At the same time, he is very self-conscious about the hat?he always mentions when he is wearing it, and he often doesn’t wear it if he is going to be around people he knows.
The presence of the hat, therefore, rigors the central conflict in the book: Holder’s need for isolation versus his need for companionship. It is worth noting that the hat’s color, red, is the same as that Of Allis’s and phoebe’s hair. Perhaps Holder associates it with the innocence and purity he believes these characters represent and wears it as a way to connect to them. He never explicitly comments on the hats significance other than to mention its unusual appearance. Holder’s Red Hunting Hat Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory Holder has a really dumb hat.
Well, it is dumb.
Even he admits it: I put on this at that I’d bought in New York that morning. It was this red hunting hat, with one of those very, very long peaks. I saw it in the window of this sports store when we got out Of the subway, just after I noticed I’d lost all the goddamn foils. It only cost me a buck. The way I wore it, I swung the old peak way around to the back?very corny, I’ll admit, but liked it that way. I looked good in it that way. So, what’s going on with this hat?
Notice that he buys the hat in New York on the morning after he left all the fencing equipment on the byway and ticked Off the entire team. So we know he’s feeling particularly vulnerTABLE at the time, even though Holder would never admit to feeling vulnerTABLE. And that hat shows up over and over again at important moments?writing the com position about Allis’s baseball mitt, staring at himself in the mirror and pretending to be tough after Seedeater punches him, yelling “Sleep tight, way morons” down the corridor.