The color-coded boxes under "Analysis & Themes" below (which look like this: ) make it easy to track the themes throughout the work. Each color corresponds to one of the themes explained in the Themes section of this LitChart.
Analysis & Themes
Phoebe asks why Holden flunked out of Pencey. He tries to explain about phonies. Phoebe says Holden doesn't like anything and challenges him to name one thing he likes a lot.
While thinking up an answer, Holden's mind wanders to the nuns he met that morning, and to James Castle, an Elkton Hills student who committed suicide by jumping out his room window after being bullied by classmates.
Holden finally says he likes Allie and talking to Phoebe. Phoebe says that doesn't count because Allie is dead.
Phoebe then asks Holden what he would like to be. After some thought, he mentions the lyric "If a body catch a body coming through the rye," and says he'd like most to be a catcher in the rye who rescues children from falling off a cliff while playing in a rye field.
Phoebe realizes that Holden has misheard the words to a Robert Browning poem. She explains that the actual line from the poem is "If a body meet a body coming through the rye."
More help on this section...
• See quotes from Chapter 22