Phoebe—according to Holden—is not only the smartest son ever, but also best dancer ever, and the many sympathetic listener ever, and also the funniest tiny sister ever. Inspect out the method we learn about her:

You"d favor her. I mean if friend tell old Phoebe something, she knows precisely what the hell you"re talk about. I mean you can even take her all over with you. If you take her to a lousy movie, for instance, she to know it"s a lousy movie. If girlfriend take she to a pretty an excellent movie, she knows it"s a pretty good movie. (10.3)

Wow. Us haven"t to be this impressed by a pre-teen since Willow Smith.

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Girl, Interrupted

When we ultimately do meet Phoebe, she"s basically whatever Holden claimed she would be—while still gift authentically ten years old. (Check out how she"s scribbled miscellaneous version the her name in her notebook, and then shot us the you didn"t do something similar when you to be ten. We retained our list in a Lisa candid Trapper Keeper.) We perform feel the hand that authorial manipulation as soon as Phoebe corrects Holden about Robert Burns, however hey, it to be the forties, therefore maybe youngsters just knew that stuff ago then.

Still, it"s this mingling the child-like enthusiasm and also adult-like incisiveness that renders Phoebe for this reason compelling. She notebook entry has actually exclamation points (child), but she points out to Holden that, really, he doesn"t prefer anything: "You don"t like any schools. You don"t choose a million things" (22.22). She"s smart sufficient to number out the Holden"s obtained the ax again (adult), yet responds by placing a pillow over she head and also repeating, "Daddy"ll death you" (child).

And then there"s she decision to operation away v Holden: she packs a suitcase thinking that she"ll go the end West somewhere and not come ago (child), but she"s no running away due to the fact that she hates everyone and also everything—she"s to run away since she appears to think that Holden needs someone to treatment for him. And then, when Holden refuses to let her come, she takes care of the in her very own way, in that touching carousel scene when she puts his red hunting hat earlier on his head. Unlike any kind of other personality we ever see, Phoebe actually provides back. For this reason … adult?


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Second Self

The method Phoebe vibrates between acting prefer a little kid and grown-up reminds us of—yep, Holden himself. It"s virtually as despite Phoebe"s a younger variation of himself; no wonder he desires to safeguard her therefore badly, and also no wonder the starts to feel "so damn happy" as soon as he sees her going around and around top top the carousel (25).

We do need to ask: what is up with the butt-pinching? when Holden sneaks right into Phoebe"s room, the reaches out and gives her a "pinch top top the behind. It to be sticking means out in the breeze … She has actually hardly any kind of behind" (22.8).

Before you begin calling security services, notice Holden"s word: "behind." once he talks about women"s behinds—which he in reality does reasonably frequently—he constantly calls them "butts" or "asses." and he security a the majority of time admiring Sally Hayes"s "cute … tiny ass" (17). Also if he thinks she"s phony because that twitching it roughly in prior of him. So, as soon as he pinches Phoebe"s behind, we acquire the feeling that it"s not sex-related at all—in fact, it"s nearly as though he"s reassuring himself (and us) the she"s still simply a kid.

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We know that Holden has a somewhat alarming attention in children, yet we"re relatively certain the it"s no the type of attention that you"d want to contact the police about. That doesn"t want to damage their innocence: he wants to safeguard it, yet misguided the is.