Essay on Holden 's Absurd Accusations Of Phony Characters

1782 Words Nov 30th, 2014 null Page
Holden’s ironic accusations of “Phony Characters”
In the novel, “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, the protagonist Holden Caufield, uses the word “phony” to describe the behavior of many characters including Mr. Spencer and Ossenburger, however it is not them who are “phony”, it is the main character that is phony. To start, Mr. Spencer, Holden’s ex- history teacher, is not reported as phony, but according to Holden, his choice of words are phony. Continuing, according to our main character, Ossenburger is not the big philanthropist he characterizes himself to be, but instead a slimy mortician. Finally, the protagonist could quite possibly be the real phony. Furthermore, the main character’s use to portray other characters including women in the novel is with the one word phony, when interesting enough, the word phony would be the most feasible word to express Holden.
Describing Mr. Spencer as phony due of his vocabulary, indicates when Holden leaves Pencey Prep for good. This triggers Holden to say good-bye to the ex-history teacher. Then Mr. Spencer solemnly tells Holden “I had the privilege of meeting your mother and dad when they had their little chat with Dr. Thurmer some weeks ago. They’re grand people.” (Salinger 9). Holden all of the sudden criticizes Mr. Spencer’s application of “grand”, “Grand. There’s a word I hate. It’s a phony. I could puke every time I heard it.” (Salinger 9). Additionally, Holden dislikes Mr. Spencer’s utilization of the word “grand”…

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