In the books The Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby the main characters are phony. Yet, one is phonier than the other and that is Holden Caulfield. Holden Caulfield is the phoniest because he lies about his name, he’s an hypocrite judges people for things he does as well, and he lied about his age so that he could drink alcohol.
In The Catcher in the Rye, the author J.D. Salinger, introduces the protagonist; Holden Caulfield. Holden feels the sense that he cannot choose between the two worlds. For example, he makes it seem as both of them are complete opposites from each other. In the book, Holden wants to keep his innocence, but he also wants to grow up and toss that innocence away. He still keeps his childhood personality by constantly obsessing over things that shouldn’t matter. In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden demonstrates the struggle of transitioning between childhood and adulthood by revealing his hassle to grow up.
Preposterous lying is a trait that Holden shows forth throughout the novel. In chapter 3 he warned the readers that he loves to lie and he does a good job at doing it (22). Holden would tell lies over and over again just to protect himself from any hurt or rejection. Another flip side to why Holden lies is because he tends to get bored with certain conversations he has with his peers so lying helps him to check out of reality for a while and in doing this, he tries to impress people and let them feel sorry for him. This makes him feel extremely superior. Lying provides Holden with a sense of control, something he desperately needs because he feels that this world is so out of control with all of these phonies he mentions. In Chapter 8, Holden
Although most of the time, Holden demonstrates his rebellious side, he actually still has fragile side. “What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of good-by”(7). “Good-by” is a word can brings a sense of sadness. Holden’s thoughts about “good-by” demonstrate he is a fragile boy who is like a piece of glass, easy to be broken. This shows that Holden is a person who has desire to love and care from others. He wants to leave some impression to people. He wants them to remember him instead of ignoring. Holden is not as tough as he shows when he describes his parents and his brother D.B in the previous paragraphs. Another good example shows his fragility appears when his brother died and “[he] broke all the goddam windows
Holden first had a conversation with Mr. Spencer in chapter 2. Mr. Spencer is Holden’s history teacher at Pencey Prep. Holden says that Mr. Spencer is not very wealthy because they do not have a maid and that they have to open the door themselves. This is different than Mr. Antolini because Mr. Antolini is wealthy and Holden describes this in chapter 24. Mr. Spencer is the only teacher and Pencey Prep that cares that Holden was expelled. Mr. Spencer cares about Holden and his future while Holden likes Mr. Spencer he still calls him a “phony”. Mr. Spencer is a “phony” because he is a suck up around his boss and it makes Holden lose respect for him. Mr. Antolini on the other hand is described as the best teacher he has ever had and the kids in
Someone once said, “The hardest part is not losing a loved one, it is the influence it has on your life without them.” In the novel, “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, the main character learns the effects of a loved one dying has. The loss of a young sibling causes an unstable mother, long term depression, and a desire for all children to stay safe and innocent.
What is phoniness? According to the Merriam Webster dictionary a phony is a person who is not honest or sincere who says things that are meant to deceive. Therefore, phoniness is someone who doesn 't act as themselves, they deceive people by acting like someone they aren’t, even themselves. Holden describes phonies all throughout the book, he keeps calling out people for being fake. "The waiter was waiting for her to move out of the way, but she didn 't even notice him. It was funny. You could tell the waiter didn 't like her much you could tell even the Navy guy didn 't like her much even though he was dating her. And I didn 't like her much. Nobody did" (41). In the quote above Holden calls out the Navy guy for being phony because he is dating Lillian Simmons even though he didn 't like her much. Therefore, he is being someone he isn 't and lying to himself.
Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, and literary devices that can help develop and inform the text 's major themes. One of the recurring themes in the novel The Catcher in the Rye is the pervasive theme of death. It could be argued that the novel is not only full of references to death in the literal sense, physical disappearance, but also in the metaphorical, taking the form of spiritual disappearance, something which Holden often focuses on, along with the actual theme of mortality. It is possible that this occurs because of his reluctance to interact with the living world. As his means of escaping from the reality he despises, his mundane thoughts and the “phoniness” that he is surrounded by. Holden becomes increasingly attracted to the idea and comes close to obsession, as his mind is flooded with thoughts of death and disappearance, as well as questions which are revealed throughout the novel.
People often have an opinion of how a man should be or act, they have a perceived image of what is to be a man. These themes of masculinity are present within Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and J.D Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Macbeth and Holden Caulfield, both struggle with their masculinity and “being a man”. Holden, through his thoughts, actions, and beliefs, demonstrates that he is more manly than Macbeth. Holden and Macbeth both struggle with their manhood, while questioning the manhood of others. Holden and Macbeth also deal with courage and what makes a man. Lastly, the death of loved ones, both affect Holden and Macbeth.
According to DBSA, the major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older. The major depressive disorder can develop at any age. In the novel, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, the main character, Holden Caulfield, is a teenage boy who goes through depression and refuses to lose his innocence. Throughout the novel, Holden experiences several difficulties and doesn’t accept the reality that he can’t be the catcher in the rye. Holden’s way of organizing his thoughts, his behaviors, and mannerism reinforce one of the novel’s theme, depression.
In The Catcher In The Rye by J.D Salinger, the character Holden Caulfield shows his dislike towards other characters in the novel by characterizing them as “phonies”. People who are dishonest when self representing themselves for their own self interest are usually judged by Holden. Holden has high standards for other people especially adults and often characterizes other characters who do not meet his standards as “phonies” but he often behaves similarly to them. He is critical towards most characters and holds high standards when determining who is a phony and who is not. He also often has the same characteristics as somebody that would be called a “phony” would have. His hypocrisy is shown in many ways including his continuous lying, and his behavior with different characters
While Holden does not always directly tell us, he implies that he has not had the best childhood. The events that Holden has gone through, have caused him to act up and look at life in this way. As a child, Holden’s brother, Allie died resulting in Holden smashing the windows in the garage, and being put in a hospital and missing the funeral. Allie’s death really shook up Holden. While not directly telling us, Holden has dropped some hints that there has been some form of abuse in his childhood, “That kind of stuff’s happened to me about twenty times since I was a kid. I can’t stand it” (193). After sneaking in his house to see Phoebe, he leaves to go to an old teacher, Mr. Antolini’s house and stay there awhile. Holden has been there many times before so he felt welcomed. Or at least he used to, “I felt something on my head, some guy’s hand. Boy, it really scared hell out of me. What it was, it was Mr. Antolini’s hand. What he was doing was, he was sitting in the dark and all, and he was sort of patting me on the goddamn head” (191-192). Holden was very disturbed by these actions and immediately got up and left the house with Mr. Antolini following him slowly and wobbly because he was so drunk. This also influenced Holden wanting to be the catcher so that other children did not need to go through experiences like this
Holden Caulfield, at first, seems to be a very pathetic, whiny person. He seems to hate everyone. He has an obsession with word “phony”, using the word numerous times in the book to describe anyone he dislikes. At many points in the book, I found myself questioning whether or not I liked him. But as I dove deeper into the book, I found Holden to be a sensitive guy who’s mind is plagued with troubles.
J.D Salinger gives his personal vision of the world successfully through his character Holden Caulfield in, “the Catcher in the Rye”. Caulfield struggles with his thoughts and feelings of New York to portray Salinger’s theme, you must live the world as it is, not as you would like it to be. Holden Caulfield uses the word “phony” many times throughout this book. Holden is judgmental to every person he meets or encounters. Even though Holden claims that others are being phony he is hypocritical because he is phony as well. The ‘catcher in the Rye’ is a good example of a troubled kid trying to find his own character in the world.