The Catcher in the Rye - Parma City School District

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The Catcher in the Rye
Chapters 21- 23
Cemetery
•
Finality of the grave
–
•
Didn’t attend funeral- not able to express his grief
Allie can’t leave
– “It was awful. It rained on his lousy tombstone, and it
rained on the grass on his stomach. It rained all over the
place. All the visitors that were visiting the cemetery
started running like hell over to their cars. That’s what
nearly drove me crazy. All the visitors could get into their
cars and turn on their radios and all and then go
someplace nice for dinner- everybody except Allie…I know
it’s his body and all that’s in the cemetery, and his soul’s
in Heaven and all that crap, but I couldn’t stand it anyway.
I just wish he wasn’t there…It’s not too bad when the sun’s
out, but the sun only comes out when it feels like coming
out” (155-156).
Phoebe
•
Represents innocence
– “She had her mouth way open. It’s funny. You
take adults, they look lousy when they’re asleep
and they have their mouths way open, but kids
don’t. Kids look all right. They can even have spit
all over the pillow and they still look all right” (159)
• He trusts her and can confide in her
• She speaks rationally and intelligently
• She doesn’t understand Holden’s darker side
– His need to self-destruct and his failure
Phoebe
• Her alienation affects Holden
» “She was ostracizing the hell out of me. Just like
the fencing team at Pencey when I left all the
goddam foils on the subway” (166)
» “’Oh, why did you do it?’ She meant why did I
get the ax again. It made me sort of sad, the way
she said it” (167)
– She is compassionate and caring towards Holden
Phoebe
•
Phoebe is the one person who can confront
Holden
– “’You don’t like anything that’s
happening.’ It made me even more
depressed when she said that.” (169)
– “’Allie’s dead- you always say that…”
(171)
» She can confront but doesn’t
understand enough to help Holden
Loss of Innocence
• James Castle
– “He was a skinny little weak-looking guy, with
wrists about as big as pencils. Finally what he
did, instead of taking back what he said, he
jumped out the window…and there was old
James Castle laying right on the stone steps
and all. He was dead, and his teeth, and blood,
were all over the place, and nobody would
even go near him. He had on this turtleneck
sweater I’d lent him” (170).
Loss of Innocence
• Holden could not save James from his loss
• Dies in Holden’s sweater
– Will Holden end up like him?
Significance of the Title
•
“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids
playing some game in this big field of rye and
all…and nobody’s around- nobody big, I mean
except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some
crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch
everybody if they start to go over the cliff- I mean if
they’re running and they don’t look where they
are going I have to come out and from somewhere
and catch them” (173)
Significance of the Title
•
Wants to save the children from the ugliness
and phoniness of the adult world
• Save their innocence
– No one saved James Castle
– No one saved Allie
– No one is there to save him
Holden’s Breaking Point
• “Then, all of a sudden, I statred to cry. I
couldn’t help it. I did it so noody could hear
me, but I did it. It scared the hell out of old
Phoebe when I started doing it, and she came
over and tried to make me stop, but once you
get started, you can’t just stop on a goddamn
dime” (179).
– Reversal of roles
– Emotional release with Phoebe
• She confronts him and enables his emotions to come
out but cannot give him the help he needs.