Holden's Being Phony In The Catcher In The Rye

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The Catcher in the Rye is a story about a teenage boy named Holden Caulfield and has many themes. Some of them include insanity, phoniness, childhood, and sex. Throughout the story Holden criticizes people and labels them “phonies”. Ironically, in The Catcher in the Rye, Holden acts phony in many ways which one can see through his thoughts, words and actions. Because of this Holden cannot have functioning relationships with others, and it take a toll on him.

Holden can be phony to himself in a way, contrary of him calling others phony all the time. One way that Holden is being phony to himself is by him being a hypocrite. When talking to one of his teachers, Holden tells the reader “One of the biggest reasons i left Elkton Hills was because
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An example is when he is talking to a woman on a train. He tells her “I have to have this operation” and “I have this tiny little tumor on the brain.”. He does not know what to say, so he tells her a lie. Another example of Holden being a hypocrite is when he calls a girl name Faith Cavendish for drinks. When talking on the phone with her, Holden tries to sound older than he actually is. After saying hello to her, Holden tells the reader “I made my voice quite deep so that she wouldn 't suspect my age or anything” (Salinger 64). This shows that Holden is trying to be something that he is not; he is being phony. Another way that Holden is being phony to himself is by acting older than he is. He dislikes the cold truth of the adult world and enjoys the innocence of children, yet he tries to act like an adult with his actions. One proof of this is when he tries to order drinks at a club. He tells the reader “I ordered scotch and soda... I said it fast as …show more content…
In many parts of the book Holden lies and deceives others, which can be viewed as being phony. One example is when Holden is on a train to New York and meets the mother of one of his classmates, Ernest Morrow. First he lies by telling her that his name is “Rudolf Schmidt” (Salinger 54), which actually the name of a janitor at Pencey. He then talks about Ernest and tells his mother “he 's too shy and modest”(Salinger 57) and makes other comments praising Ernest when in reality, Holden actually hates him. Another example of Holden deceiving others is when he tells a prostitute he cannot have sex with her because he has recently had an operation. When she questions him about it, he says (he had the operation) “on my wuddayacallit-my clavichord.” (Salinger 96). Holden does not want to have sex, and he does not know what to do, so he lies. In addition, another way that shows Holden being phony to others can be seen through him falsely acting mature. One proof is when Holden is going to his hotel room and meets a man named Maurice. Although Holden is a teenager, he agrees when Maurice offers to send a prostitute to his room. He even goes as far as saying “Hey, is she good-looking?” (Salinger 91). Another example of Holden trying to act mature to others in when he calls Carl Luce, and when he shows up, Holden proceeds to get drunk and asks Carl many questions about his sex life, as Holden 's sex life

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