Sunday, May 6, 2012

"Little Shirley Beans" Record

The record that Holden buys for his little sister, Phoebe, is titled "Little Shirley Beans." The record is a symbol for innocence, particularly pertaining to one's childhood. Shortly after purchasing the record, Holden drops it in the park and it shatters, representing one of the novel's themes of innocence being lost in the "real world." After dropping it, Holden scrambles to pick of the broken pieces because even though the "innocence" is permanently shattered, he is desperate to gather any small form of it he can find. The fictitious record was supposedly sung by the real life 30's singer, Estelle Fletcher.

"...very Dixieland and whorehouse … not all mushy …not cute as hell."


  1. I don't agree with you. I think you are just parroting what you have read it is supposed to mean. I think that the record is an allusion to Little Shirley Temple and Judge Bean and has to do with WW2. This is a broken record...meaning history repeats itself.

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  3. Idiots. The record of "Little Shirley Beans," which was "twenty years old," in 1947, would have been made in 1927, and thus would be a 78 rpm shellac disc, not a 33-1/3 rpm vinyl, which in any case HAD NOT BEEN INVENTED YET. Picture sleeves, like the one above, were even farther in the future. Geez.