Catcher in the Rye
Holden's Taxonomy
Brooke Adams
Brooke Hogoboom
Jordan Mullins
Hannah Garza
Anna Farello
Megan Freiburger
Although Holden is constantly
pressured to grow up, he is drawn to the
care-free, innocent lifestyle and natural
vulnerability of female children.
As Phoebe’s older brother, Holden feels a strong
desire to protect her innocence. Holden is drawn to
Phoebe’s vulnerability and her innocent outlook of the
world. He wants nothing more than to keep her that
way. However, Holden truly is drawn to Phoebe
because she is his hero. “ ‘Because you don’t. You don’t
like any schools. You don’t like a million things. You
don’t.” In response Holden says, “ ‘ I like Allie and I
like doing what I’m doing right now.”
Phoebe continued
Phoebe is the one person in Holden’s life that can
illuminate the truth about himself. Holden and
Phoebe’s relationship is much more than a typical
brother and sister bond. Because of Allie’s death,
Holden feels an unyielding call to rescue Phoebe from
the mature, adult world. They learn from each other,
but the key to their relationship is that Holden still
feels like the hero.
• Growing up
• Loss, Death and Failure
Young Jane Gallagher
• Holden recalls a time when he and Jane are both quite
young. They were playing checkers on her front porch when
her step-dad comes out of the house and asks Jane where the
cigarettes are. Jane does not answer him or even look up from
the game board. He goes back inside, and Holden notices
that Jane is upset. "Then all of the sudden, this tear plopped
down on the checkerboard...I don't know why, but it bothered
hell out of me" (102).
Young Jane Gallagher Continued
• Holden feels a great, fatherly protection over Jane. He is
attracted to her vulnerability and likes that he can be her
hero. Feeling as though Jane can lean on him is important to
Holden. He is satisfied with her characteristics and with the way
he can act when she is around.
• Holden's need to be someone's hero is paradoxical because it
comes from his need for a hero. He does not want to grow up,
yet insists on acting as an adult toward younger kids. The
vulnerability of female children allows Holden to be looked up
to as a hero without being connected with his true needs and
Girl at the ice skating rink
-While at Central Park, Holden meets
a girl and asks about Phoebe's
-He then helps her tie her skating
-""She was having a helluva time
tightening her skate. She didn't
have any gloves or anything and her
hands were all red and cold. I gave
her a hand with it"(155).
Girl at the ice skating rink
with analysis
Situations like this bring out the best in Holden (the
hero helps the damsel in distress).
-This is why he especially likes female children, solely
for their natural proclivity to rely on people for protection.
-It is a paradox that Holden loves to protect people.
Thesis: Although Holden is contantly pressured to grow up, he
is drawn to the carefree, innocent lifestyle and natural
vulnerability of female children.
• Main Ideas/Themes: presented in Holden's epiphone with
Phoebe at the carousel
 Holden's relationship with female kids helps him realize that
he must grow up as well; he can't be a kid forever
• Universal Truth: Innocence is temporary. People must grow,
develop, and face the reality of the world.
• Connection to America: Catcher in the Rye published in
1951. Korean War (1950-1953).
 Americans just came out of WWII, a new war five years later
with many men drafted.
 Holden is like America, in a state of confusion, doesn't know
what his future will bring, wants to stop change.