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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How does Holden remember his own childhood?

“The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, the deers would still be drinking out of that water hole […]. Nobody’d be different. The only thing that would be different would be you. Not that you’d be so much older or anything. It wouldn’t be that exactly. You’d just be different, that’s all. You’d have an overcoat on this time. Or that kid that was your partner in line last time had got scarlet fever and you’d have a new partner. Or you’d have a substitute taking the class, instead of Miss Aigletinger. Or you’d heard your mother and father having a terrific fight in the bathroom. Or you’d just passed by one of those puddles in the street with gasoline rainbows in them. I mean you’d be different in some way – I can’t explain what I mean. And even if I could, I’m not sure I’d feel like it. (16.24)”. Holden likes the Natural History museum because, no matter what else changed in his life, it was always the same: it was like a little freeze-frame picture of his own childhood, a safe spot he could always come back to.

Answered on 13.06.2017.
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