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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What is the importance of “Little Shirley Beans”?

The record, “Little Shirley Beans”, is symbolic of childhood and the sense of innocence of which Holden is afraid to let go.  Fittingly, the song is “about a little kid that wouldn’t go out of the house because two of her front teeth were out and she was ashamed to”.  Like Holden, the little girl in the song is afraid of the changes that accompany growing older, in her case, the loss of her baby teeth. Holden pays five dollars for the record, which is a lot of money. Symbolically, he would pay dearly to be able to avoid the reality of growing up.

Answered on 13.06.2017.
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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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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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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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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?

Before meeting  Sally Hayes, Holden goes to find a record called “Little Shirley Beans” for Phoebe by Estelle Fletcher. As he walks through the city, he hears a poor kid playing with his parents, singing the song .  Kid “swell” because he goes his own way. The parents are on the sidewalk, but the kid marches along the street, next to the curb, singing, “If a body catch a body coming through the rye.” He has a pretty voice and is just singing “for the hell of it.” Cars zoom by, some apparently having to screech their brakes to miss the boy, but he is not perturbed. For Holden, this is pure, innocent, and real, a living example of art for art’s sake although he does not state it that way. The performance is the better because neither the kid nor Holden, his only audience, takes it very seriously. The event brightens Holden’s day. The scene is even more significant because it foreshadows Salinger’s revelation of the central metaphor of the novel, the source of the novel’s title, in Chapter 22.

Answered on 13.06.2017.
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