Holden Caulfield Phony

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In the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger we read about a young man, Holden Caulfield, freshly kicked out of yet another high school and highly opinionated about his views of society. We learn about his views as he walks around New York around Christmas time, not wanting to face his parents so soon after being kicked out of school. Some of Holden's views on society include; phony people are bad, and there needs to be more protection of the innocence in the world, Holden has the right to worry and want change for each of these topics, yet he worries about them in a level that is completely unhealthy. Holden's views include that phoniness should be eradicated from society. Holden is happy when people don't try to glorify phony people:…show more content…
She probably knew what a phony slob he was" (2). He doesn't like people lying for other people, he expects everyone to realize when someone is being phony and call them out on it. Another reason Holden hates phony people is because he believes that you shouldn't be doing things just to look good but you should be doing them with a purpose. This is true, you should live with a purpose, and not just live to achieve personal gain Holden likes to strike out at these people calling them names that aren't nice to say the least. Lastly Holden believes that you become phony when you grow up, when the world corrupts you and you become conforming to everything around you. He doesn't want people to conform so much to everything, he even wants to be the catcher in the rye when he grows up, keeping kids safe from falling off of a cliff that he views as growing up, he doesn't want people conforming so heavily to everything around them. Holden is correct in thinking as such; phoniness is a trait that goes along with lying, cheating and otherwise being…show more content…
He has a big hero complex and wishes that everyone else did as well, he even goes to the extent of becoming upset when no one knew what happened to the ducks in the winter. Innocence is a huge theme in this book. Holden wants to protect it as much as he can and that makes sense. When we are young we see things in a different perception, we think that life is great and its full of wonderful things and people. It hits us hard when we grow up and realize that the world is actually full of people who don't care about us. Holden has every right to be upset about how innocent things are treated. He doesn't want innocence ruined, he can't even throw a snowball at perfectly clean snow. Something that might also tie Holden to this obsession with innocence is the death of his little brother. Something so pure and innocent died due to something that he couldn't help. It would make sense that Holden wants to protect it (innocence) as much as he can now, even though thats not his duty. He is borderline obsessed with the protection of innocence. He is too happy that some things never change: "The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was." (65), another example when he goes back to his old school where Phoebe now attends: "I wasn't sure I'd remember what it was like inside, but I did. It was exactly the same as it was when I went there."
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