Catcher In The Rye 4

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 Holden’s 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.
Holden’s brother D.B. was very important to Holden throughout the book. D.B. was on Holden’s mind often. One way that he was on Holden’s mind was how much he cared about D.B. and his personality. “He used to be just a regular writer… Now he’s out in Hollywood being a prostitute”. Holden often thought that D.B should leave his job in Hollywood writing movies and go back to his old life writing short stories. He should do that so that he could stop trying to please the people and just please himself. Another way that D.B was on Holden’s mind was how Holden thought about the many stories that D.B. would read him at night. When thinking of this it would remind Holden of the good times at home, this was a time when he felt comfortable and was a memory that made him feel good at almost anytime. And finally D.B. affected Holden by remembering there visits to the movies with Pheobe to watch old movies. “But I didn’t enjoy it much. I just don’t see what’s to marvellous about Sir Laurence Olivier, that’s all” (pg 117). They would go to the movie and spend the whole time critiquing it and saying what they would and wouldn’t change. The thoughts and memories of D.B. where very uplifting to Holden, and many times throughout the book Holden would of been lost if he had not had those thoughts to fall back on.
Allie was one of the major factors that greatly affected Holden’s thoughts and actions. Allie, even though dead, was still on Holden’s mind and in a way assisting him in solving some of his largest problems. One way that Allie affected Holden’s thoughts was by how much Holden thought about Allie. “My brother Allie had this left handed fielders mitt. He was left handed. The thing that was descriptive about it though was that he had poems written all over the fingers and pocket” (pg 38). Holden missed Allie a lot and thought about him constantly during the book. Another way that Allie affected Holden was he could affect his actions, even though he was dead. Holden always said that things should be how “Allie would of wanted them” and in a way his actions reflected that. And finally Allie could affect Holden because the thought of Allie made him very emotional. “Anyway, that’s what I wrote Stradlater’s composition about. Old Allie’s baseball mitt” (pg 39).This affected him a few times in the book, one of them was when Stradler asked Holden to write a short poem for Stradlers English class. Holden thought about Allie and certain things about him and instantly he was able to write Stradler a great poem. The thoughts that Holden had about Allie helped him though some of the tough times, using Allie as a model for how his life should be.
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 Holden’s 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.
Family is one of the most important themes in life. At least in the life of Holden Caulfield. From the time that he wrote the poem for Stradler that was inspired by Allie to Pheobe, who was his only reason for staying in New York for as long as he did Family was always a strong factor in all major decisions that Holden made, and actions that he took. Without his family Holden would have been lost and would not of lasted as long as he did in the city.