RE: The Catcher in the Rye help with homework Chapter 10
- What characteristics make Phoebe so important to Holden?
- What is the impression Holden wants to make on the three girls in the cocktail lounge by saying he’s Jim Steele? What do Rudolph Schmidt and Jim Steele have in common?
- What do girls need to do (or be) in order to appeal to Holden?
- Why does Holden regret having lied to Marty about seeing Gary Cooper?
What characteristics make Phoebe so important to Holden?
Holden Caufield is in his hotel room at The Edmont as Chapter ten begins. He is getting ready to go to the Lavender Room, which is a nightclub downstairs in the hotel. He has been thinking about calling his little sister, Phoebe. Holden tells us all about Phoebe, who is ten years old. He loves his sister. He also believes all his siblings are smart. D.B. is a talented writer, Allie, who has passed away, was a math whiz, and Phoebe has gotten all “A’s” since first grade. Holden tells us, “As a matter of fact, I’m the only dumb one in the family.”
Holden describes all the endearing characteristics of Phoebe. We see a side of Holden that is very different from the embittered, cynical misanthrope, disgusted with the phony ways of everybody. His little sister just enchants Holden, and she may even be his best friend. Phoebe has bright red hair that is similar to the color that Allie had. He tells us, “You’d like her. I mean if you tell old Phoebe something, she knows exactly what you are talking about.” Holden can confide in Phoebe, and this fact lessens his sense of isolation. We see that she is a very important figure in his life. He misses her and would call her if he weren’t so sure his parents would answer the phone and also because he knows that Phoebe is now sleeping because she is only ten years old.