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Why does Holden cry before he leaves his house at the end of Chapter 23 of "The...

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soccer21 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 13, 2008 at 12:08 AM via web

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Why does Holden cry before he leaves his house at the end of Chapter 23 of "The Catcher in the Rye"?

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 13, 2008 at 12:25 AM (Answer #1)

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Holden cries before he leaves the apartment because his sister has given him her Christmas money.  Holden needs money and Phoebe, his little sister, offers him the money she has saved to buy Christmas gifts, he is so touched by her generosity that he cries.

Holden is home for only a brief time, but during this time he is happy.  Happy to be with his sister, Phoebe, whom he trusts and loves.  She loves Holden unconditionally, no matter what he has done.  For a brief time, Holden is a whole person, sharing fun experiences with his sister in the comfort and security of his home.

Leaving his home again, his sister, and all the comfort that it provides, in addition to his sister's generosity, makes Holden feel very sad, he cries.

His crying, to me suggests, that Holden really belongs at home, he should not be running away from his family, they are the only people who can actually help him. 

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