Imagery is language that describes using the five senses of touch, taste, sight, sound, and smell.
Through Holden, Salinger uses vivid imagery that makes the story, and Holden, come alive. For example, what sticks in many readers' minds as a symbol of Holden himself is his red hunting cap. Early on, he offers a description of it, how he wears it, and where he bought it:
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 goddam 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 I liked it that way.
This not only describes the hat, but tells us something about Holden, such as that he is a person who bucks convention by wearing the hat backwards. We can picture this goofy, red, Robin Hood-like cap on his head and also picture Holden seeing it the window of the sports good store.
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