Catcher In The Rye: Holden's Breif Happiness
After Holden Caulfield returns to his native New York and rents a room in
a sleezy hotel, he makes a date with Sally Hayes. Before this date, Holden
finds himself wanderin the streets of the naked city. He is feeling
depressed and finds himself on Broadway trying to purchase a record for his
sister. After making this purchase, Holden notices a poor family walking
in front of him. This unit is composed of a father, mother, and "little
kid." Holden notices the child who is walking in a straight line in the
street and humming a tune to himself. Holden approaches him to determine
the tune he is singing. This tune is "If a Body Catch a Body Coming
Through the Rye."
Holden finds it amusing that the child is strutting quite literally on
Broadway and is so care-free. He notices cars screeching and honking all
over the place, and yet the child proceeds. The child's happy disposition
seems encourage Holden's on vitality. It gripped Holden that the child was
singing with "a pretty little voice...just for the hell of it" and
brightened him up.
A deeper interpertation of this scene would dictate that the child
represents Holden's own personality and life. Holden is defenatley singing
his own tune just for the hell of it and like the child, seems to have no
regard for his own well-being. At this point, Holden may see a side in
himself that is care-free and this lightens his depression.