In fact, Holden’s criticism earns all the more trust because it’s deeply personal. Though he’s a child of a corporate lawyer, he never speaks in unison with his class. He has every privilege—and insists on wearing ties and fitting in—but risks his position by his behaviors, and certainly wants to avoid spending his life going up and down in elevators to some fancy job. Nor does he seize upon the ready truisms of a subculture. He’s no beatnik or bohemian, though he’s met with those and has neglected to emulate them. He articulates his own ideas, unafraid to stand alone—an exemplar to millions throughout the world.
Finally, late at night, Holden goes home. His parents are out for the evening, and he spends some time talking with his ten-year-old sister, Phoebe, with whom he was always very close. Phoebe expresses her disappointment with Holden’s being expelled from school, and brother and sister talk at length about what Holden truly believes in and what he will do with his life. Holden tells Phoebe of his idealistic vision of being a “catcher in the rye,” protecting innocent children from disaster. He imagines children playing in a field of rye and himself catching them whenever they are in danger of falling over a cliff. He avoids seeing his parents on their return home and goes to see a former teacher, Mr. Antolini, from whom he intends to seek advice.