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Catcher in the Rye

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Comin' Through the Rye

CATCHR-1EN1AV

In chapter 16, Holden hears a six-year-old​ boy singing the Scottish folk song “Comin' Through the Rye.”

Though the words actually are, “If a body meet a body...” the boy sings, “If a body catch a body comin' through the rye.”

With respect to how it affects Holden, why is the boy's mistake so significant?

A

When the boy says “catch a body,” Holden is reminded of Allie's baseball glove, and becomes tremendously depressed.

B

As a kid, Holden used to make the same mistake when singing the song. The boy, however briefly, offers Holden a connection to his own childhood.

C

“Comin' Through the Rye” was a poem that Allie had written on his baseball glove; the boy's singing mistake is yet another reminder of the gap Allie's death left in Holden's life.

D

The boy's mistake while singing leads to Holden's vision of his purpose in life and ability to articulate his ideas about childhood.

E

Jane Gallagher used to hum the same song while she and Holden were playing checkers. The sensory memory leaves Holden longing for Jane again.