Examples Of Phoniness In Catcher In The Rye

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Phoniness is a characteristic among people that is perceived as cowardly and is detested by the majority of people worldwide. During adolescence, many people seem as if they are surrounded by a world of phoniness. In J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, which takes place during the 1950s, Holden Caulfield, a sixteen-year old, is kicked out of Pencey Prep, his high school, and roams around New York. Through his journey, Holden comes across several occasions where he experiences phoniness. This trait is prolifically shown among the people who meet Holden as well as himself, as he talks about the first hand experiences he encounters. Holden’s contempt for phonies is unwarranted due to his own attempts to act more mature than he is, the constant lies he tells others, and his inability to live up to his own moral standards. Holden Caulfield continuously tries to act more mature than he is which makes him unjustified in his…show more content…
Holden goes to the Edmont Hotel where he sees perverts sexually fulfilling themselves. He ponders about the pleasures of sex when he thinks to himself, “I keep making up these sex rules for myself, and then I break them right away” (70). By not living up to his standards and going against his own beliefs, Holden is viewed as a phony, making him unjustified at his animosity to phonies. As Holden enters the elevator in his hotel, he meets a man named Maurice. When he asks Holden if he wants to hire a prostitute, Holden agrees even though, “It was against [his] principles and all, but [he] was feeling so depressed [he] didn’t even think” (102). By not following his moral principles, Holden’s ingenuity as well as his phoniness is depicted. It makes Holden unreasonable at his aversion towards those he believes are fake. The various times Holden is incapable of living up to his own moral standards make his contempt for phonies

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