RE: The Catcher in the Rye help with homework Chapter 16

Chapter 16


  1. What is the importance of “Little Shirley Beans”?
  2. How does Holden react to children?
  3. How does Holden remember his own childhood?
  4. Holden changes the wording of the song from “If a body meet a body coming through the rye…” to “If a body catch a body coming through the rye…” What characteristics does Holden find desirable in the child singing?
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5 Answers

How does Holden react to children?

The first child that Holden meets presents the idea of being the “catcher in the rye”, even though he heard the lyrics of the song incorrectly. He takes this upon him because he wants to be this “catcher” because it will be the way that he keeps children from turning into phoney men and women. This once again shows his desire to keep away from phonies and keep children from turning into such.

The second child is a peer of Phoebe, who sends Holden off to the museum in search of his sister. Instead, Holden finds a flash from his past. In doing so, he remembers how nothing in the museum has changed, but he has. This puts emphasis on his desire to be the “catcher in the rye” because he knows he has started to turn into everything that he hates and he wants children to keep their innocence and stay the same like the museum.

The children intrigue Holden because they still have their childhood innocence, which is something he deems vital and the opposite of what he hates. The innocence of children is the only human factor that he loves about the world (with the only person he really cares for anymore is Phoebe because she fits this life style).

Answered on 13.06.2017.
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