Catcher In The Rye Phoney Analysis

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In the novel, the Catcher in the Rye written by J. D. Salinger, readers question the main character’s authenticity. Holden goes back and forth from acting genuine to acting like a phoney, it’s hard for the reader to trust Holden. Being a phoney is someone acting like they’re someone they’re not, which Holden does at some points. A person can tell when someone is genuine by the way they talk about the subject, how their tone is, and their emotions. Holden struggled with finding people who actually care enough to have a serious talk with him. Salinger shows the reader it is important to know a person’s true intentions. In the Catcher in the Rye, Salinger demonstrates the theme of questioning authenticity and how crucial it is to know when someone is being genuine or a phoney.
When first introduced to Holden, the
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Holden wants the truth from everyone but couldn’t bare to hear the truth from Mr. Spencer, so he makes up a lie to leave.Holden first says this when the reader knows they can't trust him; “I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It’s awful.” (pg 16, Salinger). Holden describing himself as a terrific liar makes the reader question his authenticity because he makes himself seem like a phoney. Calling himself a liar contrasts with what he wants the reader to think about him with what he’s actually like, which is a liar. One of Holden’s biggest problems is not wanting to grow up and be an adult because he doesn’t like adults. Holden thinks all adults are phonies and doesn’t want to grow up like that, but he’s already being fake before he is an adult. When the reader discovers Holden says one thing but does the other the reader learns that Holden is an unreliable narrator because of his phoniness.
Next the reader sees Holden’s authenticity appears to be more confusing because although he's reaching out to people he's still not being honest with himself.

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