Character relationships

Here, you can read about the relationships between Holden and various characters in J. D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye.

Holden and Phoebe

Out of all the characters in the novel, Holden has the closest relationship with his younger sister, Phoebe. Holden holds Phoebe in high regard and constantly praises her intelligence, creativity, and talent. He even talks about her in public, with the women in the Lavender Room, which shows that he is proud of her. 

Throughout the novel, Phoebe is the anchor that keeps Holden attached to the present. He constantly thinks about her when he is in New York and, when he finally visits her, he is happy to see her. Holden is eager for human connection throughout the novel, and Phoebe is the only one who can satisfy this need. She communicates with him easily and, most importantly, truly listens when Holden talks about what bothers him. 

While Phoebe loves Holden, she also challenges him and calls him out on his expulsion from Pencey. Although Phoebe is younger, she is m...

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