"Catcher In The Rye" By J.D. Salinger: Phoebe's Advice

648 words - 3 pages

In the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield is troubled and needs the help of someone close to him to stop his downward spiral. His troubles cloud his mind and make it difficult for him to succeed in school, and to operate in the real world. Many try to give him advice to make him realize the errors he is making so he can correct them before there are serious effects. His sister, Phoebe, really offers the contrast to Holden and his immaturity and unrealistic beliefs. She tries giving him the advice that would end the freefall he is in. Phoebe’s advice is the only possible solution to help Holden, and his acceptance or denial will ultimately decide his future, whether he knows it or not.Phoebe is more mature than Holden, and she is six years younger than him. She understands that, despite what Holden thinks, growing up is necessary and inevitable. Holden has Peter Pan mentality, in that he doesn’t want to grow up because he feels that adulthood corrupts the innocent minds of children. Phoebe tells Holden that he is just being ignorant and unrealistic, and that he has to grow up. She gets angry with him and tells him that he is too negative and that he doesn’t like anything. She tells him to say one thing he liked, and the only thing he can think of is Allie, and Phoebe reminds him that he is dead. Phoebe makes Holden realize that his negative, immature, and pessimistic views have caused him to hold on to only the memory of his brother and caused him to shut out everything else. Holden wishes to stay young so that he can feel closer to his brother.Holden has realized how he has been secluding himself, rather than accepting others because of Phoebe’s advice to grow up, but he doesn’t accept the advice. Phoebe continues...

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