He doesn't want to accept the world as it is, but he also feels powerless, unable to affect change. Holden is so afraid of growing up. We also see how alienated he feels. When I really worry about something, I don't just fool around. I thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it, and how they'd wonder what the hell it meant, and then finally some dirty kid would tell them. Or you'd heard your mother and father having a terrific fight in the bathroom.
Then it would start all over again as soon as I got to the next corner. It wouldn't be that exactly. Moreover, they do not know he is there to watch over them, godlike, unless they really need his help at the last moment. Holden also likes the museum because of its stasis: nothing ever changes, and there is an air of security and stability there which he craves even more now that he is in the throes of confused adolescence. He pictures himself wearing a giant mitt, ready to catch kids as they fall off a cliff while playing in the rye. Or the kid that was your partner in line the last time had got scarlet fever and you'd have a new partner. And birds flying south for the winter.
Or you'd have a substitute taking the class, instead of Miss Aigletinger. As he's walking down the street, Holden begins having panic attacks. While at first it seemed like a good idea to spend some time alone before going home for the Christmas holidays, the days seem to grow longer as Holden gets more depressed and lonely. She shrugged her shoulders, sort of. You'll learn from them—if you want to.
Holden Caulfield Holden lives in such pain, having given himself to his brother and then watched him die, that he cannot bear to open up to anyone again because of the thought of loss, having to lose something that meant everything. You'll learn from them—if you want to. The Museum of Natural History: Holden finds the museum appealing because everything in it stays the same. Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. She was a very nice, polite little kid. He's going to find a place where he doesn't know anyone, get a job, and pretend to be a deaf-mute so that no one will talk to him. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery.
This post is part of the series: The Catcher in the Rye Study Guide. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff — I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. Many readers related to the somewhat bleak view of the main character. Taking Phoebe to the Zoo When Phoebe arrives, she has a suitcase with her and announces that she is going with Holden. Or you'd have a substitute taking the class, instead of Miss Aigletinger. You can even include some of these words into your own vocabulary if you find yourself liking them. I think we all have those wishful moments in our own lives.
They do not need to look where they are going during their game so long as there is someone to catch them at the edge. Or you'd just passed by one of those puddles in the street with gasoline rainbows in them. The taunting nature of the phrase represents his own inability to protect himself from the trials of adulthood. Just look at his list of examples—hearing parents fight, or seeing a gasoline puddle: these are examples of awareness, of mental growth, not of physical aging. Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. He just keeps falling and falling.
Hanging around, he is hoping to get to the feeling of goodbye. He was just singing for the hell of it, you could tell. When he is choosing to avoid authentic human interaction in order to avoid the future pain of loss, it is more of an emotional choice than a rational comparison of one pain against another. The intensity of his raging adolescent hormones makes him think that somehow sex would be joined with that same depth of love for a another person, though in reality sex comes all too easily with money rather than authentic feeling. It is a memorable moment, because Holden clearly lacks such willingness in other aspects of his life.
The only thing that'd be different would be you. It attests to Holden's desire to play the rescuer to all the children who might suffer in their lives. He views them as innocent and pure, thus associating the hat as innocent and pure Review: The title holds great symbolism for the book. Who wants flowers when you're dead? Or you'd just passed by one of those puddles in the street with gasoline rainbows in them. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Ch. Symbolism in The Catcher and the Rye What are Literacy Symbols? It wouldn't be that, exactly.