Catcher in the Rye

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Phoebe's Record


"Listen, I bought you a record," I told her. "Only I broke it on the way home." I took the pieces out of my coat pocket and showed her. "I was plastered," I said.
"Gimme the pieces," she said. "I'm saving them." She took them right out of my hand and then she put them in the drawer of the night table.

Why is it significant that Phoebe saves the broken pieces of the record Holden bought for her?


Phoebe has made a hobby of making jigsaw puzzles out of broken, everyday objects. She saves the record pieces for one of her future craft projects.


Phoebe knows that she would have enjoyed “Little Shirley Beans” and keeps the record pieces as a physical reminder of Holden's carelessness.


We know from Holden that Phoebe is innocent and naive. It can be reasonably surmised that Phoebe, not knowing any better, believes she can glue the record back together.


Phoebe saves the record fragments because she appreciates Holden's gesture and knows that the thoughtfulness behind his gift is more important than the present itself.


As Holden has said previously, both Phoebe and D.B. are savers; it is rare that they throw anything away. Phoebe saving the record pieces supports Holden's narrative.