Examples Of Phony In Catcher In The Rye

1019 Words 5 Pages
The word phony is used thirty-five times by the main character, Holden Caulfield, in The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. David D. Galloway said, “Wherever Holden turns, his craving for truth seems to be frustrated by the phoniness of the world.” Throughout the book, Holden sees phoniness around him by seeing the imperfect in the world, and he wishes to not have the “phoniness” in the world. Salinger wishes for the reader to perceive phoniness as the flaws in the world shown by the usage of phony by Holden to express his criticism of his surroundings.
In the Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield uses the word phony multiple times to express his criticism of his surroundings. The first mention of phony in the book is the moment Holden conveys
…show more content…
Holden’s character is not flawless though Holden refuses to acknowledge the flaws within him instead he criticizes his surroundings intensely to make up for it. One of the flaws seen in Holden multiple times throughout the book is Holden’s constant lying. “Then I started reading this timetable I had in my pocket. Just to stop lying. Once I get started, I can go on for hours if I feel like it. No kidding. Hours.” (Salinger 65). Holden lies multiple times without any kind of need to. This is shown when he was talking to a the lady on the bus. Holden did not need to lie to her about her son’s behavior, yet he still does it. Holden does not really give alternative to many people. The only people he would not consider phony would be Phoebe and Jane. Holden sees their innocence and does not consider their flaws phony because they are children. Holden also displays himself as phony when he is kicked out of schools, and he blames others for his actions. “Then all of a sudden, she said, ‘Oh, why did you do it?’ She meant why did I get the ax again. It made me sort of sad, the way she said it. ‘Oh, God, Phoebe, don 't ask me. I 'm sick of everybody asking me that,’ I said. ‘A million reasons why. It was one of the worst schools I ever went to. It was full of phonies. And mean guys. You never saw so many mean guys in your life...I don 't even feel like talking about it. It was a stinking school. Take my …show more content…
Salinger shows this by having Holden use the word phony for criticism. Salinger shows how people in the world do not present their true selves and their true feelings to people. “Hans would just shake hands with them and give them a phony smile and then he 'd go talk, for maybe a half an hour, with somebody else 's parents.” (Salinger 17). This is a flaw in the world because people refuse to show themselves, yet they become disappointed when others do not understand their perspective and situation. The previous quote explains this by showing how the principle will shake hands, and show he is very pleased, but in reality he would rather anywhere but there. Holden shows how the phoniness should be taken from the world to make the world better. “I 'd have this rule that nobody could do anything phony when they visited me. If anybody tried to do anything phony, they couldn 't stay.” (Salinger 225). Salinger used the word phony to tell people to recognize the flaws and accept them instead of trying to push them away as Holden does. This will help shape the world better, and it would help you find your path for the future because you would know your limitations.
In The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger uses the word phony to represent the flaws of the world. He displays it by Holden using phony to describe the flaws in his surroundings. However, Salinger also shows how refusing the fact of being a phony makes

Related Documents