Holden on Phonies Holden Caulfield constantly contradicts himself in the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, this is best seen on his views towards phonies and he himself unknowingly being a phony. Throughout the book Holden mentions the phrase phonies several times as a way to describe someone who is fake, hypocritical, or pretentious. For instance, Holden thinks that Mr. Haas, the headmaster at Pency, was the most “phoniest bastard” he has ever met; Mr. Haas always puts on a act when he’s meeting parents (21). When people are phony it “drives [him] crazy” because he just wants people to be real (21).
Although Holden is a very intelligent character he finds the hypocrisy and ugliness in the world around him and quickly associates it with the adult world. Holden is a very introverted character who hesitates throughout the book to share information about his life . J.D Salinger makes sure to portray Holden that way to
Holden struggles with growing up and facing reality. There are many examples of Holden’s immaturity that are displayed in many forms such as facing responsibilities, his speech, his actions, and etc. Holden’s outlook on adult life is that it is superficial and brimming with phonies, but childhood was all about looking pleasing and innocent. He wants everything to stay the same and for time to stop. As Holden progresses in age, he will discover more about becoming mature in the
The Death of a loved one is painful and destructive; however, there's healthy ways to rebuild yourself after that loss. Holden, the protagonist of The Catcher In The Rye, and his family lost Allie and they all showed signs of suffering from the loss since they didn’t find helpful ways to make peace with Allie’s death. Holden’s father and mother both displayed self destructive patterns after losing Allie. The most extreme case is Holden, who lives by the notion that the world is cruel and is made for suffering rather than living. Holden’s family is scattered apart, which makes it harder for them to heal.
Why would Holden call others phony when he is a phony himself? Holden’s repetitive use of the word phony throughout the novel begins to show his true colors. Some examples of him calling others phony is the headmaster, the actual school Pencey Prep, Ossenburger, Sally Hayes, Stradlater, also people he did not know. J.D. Salinger reveals Holden’s “phoniness” to the audience through his hypocritical use of the words fake and phony.
It is the “phoniness” he wants to blame. Salinger used “phony” this word many times in the book and is one of the most famous word from “The Catcher in the Rye” and it accurately describes the human nature of most adults’. During Holden’s three-day-trip in New York, he has met and encountered with many characters who are pretentious and fake, from Mr. Spencer to Luce and Sally. In society people have to lie or be “phony” just to socialize, or impress someone. Holden is a judgemental person who keeps observing other people’s phoniness but never notices them in himself.
With having frantic episodes to having unstable and intense interpersonal relationships, alternating between extreme idealization and being constantly mad. Holden tends to lack any self-esteem and he's constantly trying to fill that void of emptiness by indulging in alcohol, smoking, and he never faces the problem instead he runs away. This is proven on how he doesn't care about school and always gets kicked out because of his ideology that everyone is “phony” and that it's his duty to
Holden can put an end to his judgmental behavior by watching the movie Rocky. Throughout the novel, Holden constantly judges people and calls them phonies. An example of this is when Holden says “I can just see the phony bastard shifting into first gear and asking Jesus to send him a few more stiffs”(20). Holden does not know much about who he is talking about but finds it necessary to judge them. In the movie Rocky, there is an example of not judging a book by its cover. This is when Rocky meets Adrian and they end up falling in love despite not being a clear match from the start. Rocky didn’t judge Adrian and it worked out for him in the end. Furthermore, watching the movie Rocky would be a highly effective aid to Holden’s judgmental attitude.
The novel “The Catcher in the Rye” was about the journey of a adolescent boy finding his way to adulthood. In the book Holden Caulfield was unsuccessful in finding his way to adulthood. Holden’s attitude in the novel throughout his journey was very immature. He also can't accept the fact that innocence can’t be forever protected. Lastly, Holden calls everyone a phony when in reality he is the real phony. Although others may say that Holden was successful on his journey, saying that he grew up he. Holden showed lots of immaturity throughout the novel and was the biggest phony of all..
Furthermore, Holden starts to hate all the adults or loses faith in them, calls them phony. Holden has a second thought of becoming an adult he loses hope in his future and it seems to him nothing in the world matters to him anymore. We can see that throughout the book. He smokes, gets drunk, and does daring acts like getting a prostitute in his room. He also tries to escape all this guilt and grief by wasting time with unnecessary people he calls phony.
Shouldn’t someone who acts tough and often brags know that they will never become a phony? The answer would be yes if Holden wasn’t so insecure. Holden’s childish ways cause him to never mature and figure out who he is as a person. We see many signs of Holden insecurities throughout the book, like the fact that he contradicts himself. An example of this would be when Sally and Holden are in the taxi and he tells her he loves her, he then counties to say, “It was a lie, of course, but the thing is, I meant it when I said it” (Salinger 139).
Unlike Odysseus, whose pride most always gets the best of him, Holden's only sense of demise is his immaturity. This downfall however demonstrates a more respectable connotation than the idea of total pride that Odysseus possess. However, despite a more admirable method of trickery, it is still trickery. Holden approaches his deception in a way which is harder to detect, he uses fake personas and stories to accomplish something a simple as a confidence boost. He even occasionally will deceive people for their own happiness not only for himself, whatta guy!
Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual”. In the book Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield’s lies become habitual throughout the book. Holden is a sixteen-year-old boy, who has been kicked out of several schools including, most recently, Pencey Prep. Holden’s younger brother, Allie, died when Holden was only thirteen and his older brother is too busy working for Hollywood to care about Holden. Although his mother cares immensely for him, Holden saddens her by failing academically. The only motivator that Holden has to continue living is his younger sister, Phoebe, who is extraordinarily intelligent for her age. After he gets kicked out of Pencey, Holden is lost in life. He speaks to many people, seeking advice and comfort, but they are not able to help him find a human connection. Holden’s depression increases throughout the novel, almost to the point of suicide. He criticizes many people and ideas, labeling them as ‘phony’. Holden lies as a result of his depression, in order to hide the fact that he’s lonely and bored with his life, to divert any questions which he believes are too personal, and to create his own reality. In this way, Salinger illustrates how, during difficult times, people resort to lying as a coping mechanism.