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Towards the end of The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, when Phoebe is going around the carousel and Holden is watching, it begins to rain. Everyone else goes under cover, but Holden chooses to stay out in the rain:

She ran and bought her ticket and got back on the goddam carrousel just in time. Then she walked all the way around it till she got her own horse back. Then she got on it. She waved to me and I waved back.
Boy, it began to rain like a bastard. In buckets, I swear to God. All the parents and mothers and everybody went over and stood right under the roof of the carrousel, so they wouldn't get soaked to the skin or anything, but I stuck around on the bench for quite a while. I got pretty soaking wet, especially my neck and my pants. My hunting hat really gave me quite a lot of protection, in a way, but I got soaked anyway. I didn't care, though. I felt so damn happy all of a sudden, the way old Phoebe kept going around and around. I was damn near bawling, I felt so damn happy, if you want to know the truth.
The Catcher in the Rye, chapter 25

Aside from the sleep deprivation and alcohol that are probably affecting Holden's decision-making skills at this point, why does he choose to stay in the rain? What's the significance of staying in the rain to watch Phoebe instead of taking cover?

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  • I think Holden explains it himself, no? - "I didn't care, though. I felt so damn happy all of a sudden, the way old Phoebe kept going around and around." - He was so happy watching Phoebe he did not care it was raining and he was getting wet.
    – Skooba
    Commented Sep 12, 2023 at 16:11
  • See also: Happy Rain (Warning TV: Tropes link) (yes I understand this is not TV, but tropes usually transcend medium. )
    – Skooba
    Commented Sep 12, 2023 at 16:16

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