One theme developed in Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger is that bonds to our family is one of the most important factors in life. This is evident throughout the book since Holden spends so much of his time thinking about, and striving to be with his brothers and sister. Each one of Holdens siblings plays an important role in helping him cope with his life in school and the many questions that he faces in his everyday life. Aswell as give him a positive thought when he was down. Looking at his relationships with Allie, D. B. and Pheobe give you ample proof of this.
The sister of Holden, Pheobe , had more influence on his life then the rest of the other characters combined. He always did things to make her happy and when she was happy it made him very happy as well. One way the Pheobe affected Holden was when he thought of that record that she liked. “There was this record I wanted to get for Pheobe, called Little Shirley Beans. It was a very hard record to get” (pg 114). Holden was so determined to find the record that he went all over looking for it. After finding it and buying it he dropped it in the park and it shattered.
Holden was tremendously saddened by this and the thought of not being able to make Pheobe happy with that as a gift. Another way that Pheobe affected Holden was when he nearly lost her when they were walking down the street. “I started walking downtown towards the zoo, on the park side of the street. And she started walking downtown on the other goddamn side of the street” (pg. 208). When he lost sight of her his mind began to race and thoughts of panic and fear ran through his mind. And finally, Pheobe affected Holdens whole plan for his Christmas break.
He was planning on leaving New York to work at a farm for a while but was unable to leave without seeing her at least one more time. His feelings and thoughts of Pheobe were enormous in this book. Without her Holden would not of been able to make it in the city alone for all of that time. When situations are described, in person or in a book, they are influenced by the one who describes them, and by his or her perceptions and experiences. Through Holden’s expressions of his thoughts and feelings, the reader sees a youth, sensitive to his urroundings, who chooses to deal with life in unique ways.
Holden is candid, spontaneous, analytical, thoughtful, and sensitive, as evidenced by his narration. Like most adolescents, feelings about people and relationships are often on his mind. Unfortunately, in Holden’s case, he seems to expect the worst, believing that the result of getting close to people is pain. Pain when others reject you or pain when they leave you, such as when a friend walks off or a beloved brother dies. It would not have been possible to feel Holden’s feelings or understand his thoughts nearly as well had the