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What does Holden like about his sister Phoebe in The Catcher in the Rye?  

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danidallas | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 20, 2013 at 12:51 AM via web

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What does Holden like about his sister Phoebe in The Catcher in the Rye?


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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 20, 2013 at 2:08 AM (Answer #1)

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Holden likes to think about his sister Phoebe, and thinks about calling her often.

Phoebe is “only a little kid” and Holden feels like she has a good head, but he can’t really communicate with her because he can never call her.

I damn near gave my kid sister Phoebe a buzz, though. I certainly felt like talking to her on the phone. Somebody with sense and all. (ch 10)

Holden considers his little sister smart, even though she is so young.  At ten years old, skinny Phoebe is one of the few people Holden feels a connection with.

I mean if you tell old Phoebe something, she knows exactly what the hell you're talking about. I mean you can even take her anywhere with you. (ch 10)

He enjoys taking Phoebe to the movies, and she is “all right,” although she can be emotional at times.  Phoebe has always been smart though, and she seems to crack Holden up.  It’s clear that he misses her.

Holden can never call his sister because he usually thinks to do so at night, and he does not think she will be up.  He knows she would talk to him if she answered the phone, but his parents wouldn’t bring her the phone if they were the ones that answered and he doesn’t want them to know he’s in New York.

Holden’s obsession with Phoebe is an example of his isolation and extreme loneliness.  The one person he wants to connect with on several occasions is much younger, and is out of reach.


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