Criticism Of Catcher In The Rye

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Internal Criticism The word phony is often used to describe something that is fake or ingenuine. When the word phony is used in a sentence, it can usually be classified as simple teenage slang. However, when the word phony is used in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, it has a much deeper meaning. Oftentimes, the person who is accusing objects of being phony is the main character, Holden Caulfield. Holden Caulfield is critical of a variety of ideas through which it is revealed that his criticism stems from a dissatisfaction of himself. First, Holden is critical of Hollywood, which shows a struggle within himself. Holden gives some background information about his brother, who is an author in Hollywood. He acknowledges that his brother is a phenomenal writer, but he feels that D.B. has become a sell-out in Hollywood. Holden criticizes, “Now he’s out in Hollywood, D.B., being a prostitute” (Salinger 2). In this statement, Holden is criticizing both his brother and Hollywood. He knows that Hollywood is full of phonies whose entire lives are acting, and he feels that…show more content…
He is triggered to call his own acquaintances phony for even the most minor of misdemeanors. For example, when he talks to his favorite teacher, Mr. Spencer, he criticizes his word choice. Holden says, “Grand. There’s a word I really hate. It’s a phony. I could puke every time I hear it” (9). Most people probably would not notice such a tiny aspect in the conversation, but this word is a red flag to Holden. Holden picks up that Mr. Spencer does not usually use this word, and he is only using it to impress him in this situation. His criticism of his acquaintances shows that he emits a persona that he is better than everyone else, and no one is immune to his criticism. By showing that no one is immune from Holden’s criticism, it reveals that Holden can be critical of himself as
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