Originally published for adults in 1951, The Catcher in the Rye has become popular with young adult readers for its depiction of adolescence. This coming-of-age novel shares the story of Holden Caulfield, an expelled high school junior who struggles with growing up and becoming an adult. The mental breakdown Holden experiences is a result of the severity of his suffering. The way in which J.D Salinger captured the adolescent voice is one of the reasons why this book is still taught in high schools and beloved by so many, despite being one of the most frequently challenged books (American Library Association). It is one of the great works of American literature.
Holden's iconic style makes him easily identifiable. Admirers of Salinger's work can easily sport a Catcher in the Rye inspired style with the use of these bookish style recommendations.
Red Hunting Hat
Holden's red hunting hat is a symbol of his attachment to childhood. It protects him, and makes him feel unique. He calls the hat a people's shooting hat. When he wears the it, he can be as tough and individual as he wants to be. The hat also symbolizes his alienation. Throughout the novel, Holden excludes himself from the people and world around him. He is in desperate need of human contact and love, but his wall of isolation prevents him from achieving them.
Duck Print Clothing
The ducks in the lagoon in Central Park are another big symbol for Holden. Ducks must adapt to their environment. They disappear in the winter and reappear in the spring, which represents how one needs to change in order to survive. Holden struggles both with change and growing up.
Museum of Natural History Exhibits
Holden is fascinated by the exhibits at the Museum of Natural History. Unlike him, they are unchangeable and frozen in time. They represent the world that Holden wishes he could live in. A world that never changes and always stays the same. Every time he returns to the museum he discovers that the only thing that has changed is himself.
Holden Thinks You're a Phony
There's no better way to show off your love for J.D Salinger's masterpiece of a novel than these Catcher in the Rye inspired styles. While Holden would pretty much call you out as a phony for them, they are a get representation of excellent bookish style.
What are your favorite Cather in the Rye inspired bookish styles? What other styles would you recommend to capture this literary masterpiece?