Homework Help

In "The Catcher in the Rye", why does Holden feel so close to Phoebe?

user profile pic

doragale | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 12, 2008 at 12:32 PM via web

dislike 1 like

In "The Catcher in the Rye", why does Holden feel so close to Phoebe?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 12, 2008 at 1:53 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

Phoebe seems to only family member with whom Holden can communicate. The is probably because she is still a child and one of Holden's problems is that he doesn't want to grow up. However, Phoebe is blunt and says exactly what she means. She is frustrated with Holden's disenchantment with the world and even asks him, "Is there anything you like?" Still, Holden likes to take her places, just like he took his younger brother Allie before Allie died. It is Phoebe who Holden tells about wanting to be a Catcher in the Rye. So Phoebe, with her almost adult-like look on the world, fulfills several needs for Holden. She is a child so she doesn't frighten or threaten Holden, yet she is not afraid to confront Holden about his decisions. Holden needs Phoebe to stay connected to the real world.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes