Shy of hard work, he drops out of school only to chase women and parties. This is his world where he lives with his siblings among whom there is Phoebe Caulfield. The fourth grader called Phoebe is the only one who can move Holden to tears, happiness and everything else is between. The story is how he sees his failures about to take her over which is when he fears the idea of not working hard. His transformation and denunciation of everything "phony" is where the story ends.
The passage being studied here is one where Holden is having a conversation with someone who is Phoebe's friend. It is apparent from Holden's expressions and mannerisms that he is not aware of this friend or the secret trips that Phoebe has been taking with her to museums and other places.
This passage is important in the sense that it offers a revelation of sorts to Holden and his sensibilities. To begin with, there is a possibility that his sister has been missing school. Further, he sees something of himself in her. In the beginning his rebellious nature had seem natural to him, to the point that he was actually proud of the fact that he did not feel the need to depend on education or an institution to get ahead in life. But the possibility of his sister treading the same path takes him by shock and fills him with a certain amount of fear and dread. ...Show more