Phony In The Catcher In The Rye By J. D. Salinger

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The Catcher In The Rye is a novel written by J.D. Salinger, which digs into many controversial ideas all throughout. While the audience is being presented with one piece of evidence, there is often something that will immediately contradict this point. Often, this was due to the fact that Holden Caulfield, the main character, was questionable in his thoughts and actions. For example, throughout the book, the audience can find that he calls many people “phonies” but falls into some of the behaviour that he identifies as phony himself. This leads to the question, , is Holden a phony, or everybody else? A phony is someone who isn’t genuine in what they say or do. They could do or say something nice, but it probably has a motive of some kind …show more content…
He calls others fake and phonies even though he can tend to be one. There are several times in the book where he says things to people which he doesn’t actually think. For instance, on page of 87 of the book Holden says, "I 'm always saying 'Glad to 've met you ' to somebody I 'm not at all glad I met.” He says this after meeting a girl he used to know and being introduced to her date. After this he says, “If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though.” After criticizing and judging people for saying non-genuine things, he admits to being this way because he has to be for the sake of surviving. This is not the first time he does something “phony”, but he knows he is doing these things and that is what makes it hypocritical. Holden is a teenager on the edge of adulthood and is at a point where he needs to make many decisions. As a teenager, not being accepted and not being able to fit in can feel like death. That could be what he means by “staying alive.” Holden might feel like he has to be fake and be someone other than who he really is to fit in. There might be justification as to why he is a phony, but he is a phony no

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