Examples Of Phoebe's Behavior In Catcher In The Rye

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Holden’s Savior Holden Caulfield, the main character in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, is a troubled and confused sixteen-year-old in search of hope and a savior. His ten-year-old sister, Phoebe Caulfield, solves many of Holden’s problems at the end of the novel and helps him find his path in life. These siblings’ relationship helps Holden return to a better state of health. Phoebe plays a pivotal role in Holden’s mental recovery by acting as a parent, showing him he’s loved, and proving there’s still innocence in children. Due to their mother’s hysteria and father’s absence, Phoebe is forced to play a parental role in Holden’s confused life. Phoebe is the first person in the novel to fully listen to Holden’s problems. After Phoebe…show more content…
During her conversation with Holden in her bedroom, Phoebe tells him about a boy in her class and says, “Everytime I’m in the park, he follows me everywhere. He’s always following me. He gets on my nerves” (213), to which Holden replies, “He probably likes you” (213). Phoebe is still a child and can’t tell the difference between a boy liking her or annoying her. Holden hears this and obviously sees that this boy has a crush on her, but is slightly glad she doesn’t, because he wants her to stay innocent. Holden doesn’t want Phoebe to grow up and become confused about sex and relationships like he is. Holden also observes her carefree youth when he says, “I got back to Phoebe's room, old Phoebe’d turned on the radio. This dance music was coming out. She kills me” (227). Holden loves how Phoebe still acts like a child and dances to music. He is amused to see the spectacle of Phoebe in the middle of her bed, dancing along to the radio. He asks her to dance, she accepts, and this excites Holden because she isn’t too old to have a little fun. Joy isn’t the only emotion that Holden observes in Phoebe to reassure him of her innocence. He is comforted by her anger too. When Holden tells Phoebe she can’t run away with him, he notes, “Then she turned her back on me again. It nearly killed me, but I didn’t say anything” (269). Holden knows that when kids, especially Phoebe, have a temper tantrum, they react impulsively. Even though Holden is sad that he made Phoebe cry, he is comforted by her childish
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