The relationship that Holden shares with his 10 year old sister Phoebe (whom he refers to as old phoebe) is beautifully etched out. He is able to connect with her and have better conversations with her than any of the other adults in his life. The monologue spans across 2 days of his life in New York City bringing out the grey areas and life in the city earlier in the century in a very subtle way. Holden cannot seem to figure out what he wants to do with his life – all he knows is that he does not want to be a phony. He does not want to be a lawyer just to make a lots of money as he feels that a lawyer should help save people lives and he does not to want to become a writer either as he feels that most writers end up becoming prey to fame and fortune thus giving up their true talent and creativity. Everyone becomes a phony….During one of his conversations with little phoebe he confesses to her that he visualises himself as standing over a cliff overlooking a huge field of rye where little kids play and every time a child gets too near to the cliff he makes that he catches the kid and makes sure that child moves away avoiding a fall that could hurt them. He feels that the only thing he would like to do is protect these little kids. This piece of text was a perfect analogy to protecting young, innocent minds from the cruel ways and bad beings of the word. All that he would like to be is a “Catcher in the Rye”.
The relationship that he shared with his late younger brother Allie runs like an invisible thread throughout the book. When Holden feels lonely he speaks to his brother Allie as he finds a lot of solace in thinking about the child with a pure heart. Holden plans to run away to establish a simple life for himself far away from his current world but changes his mind when he understands that Phoebe does not want him to leave her alone. She even packs her little suitcase to join him!The book ends on a note Holden still trying to figure out what he wants to along with help from a psychiatrist. However he is no longer alone and is surrounded by the people who he regards in high esteem – his older brother DB and sister Phoebe.
Good book if you are a serious reader. I felt that I could not have appreciated this book had I read it in school or college but enjoyed it now!