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
Holden prefers to stay as a kid rather than “grow up”. When Holden talks about phonies they were most of the time adults and never kids. He dislikes the idea of growing up and becoming a phony himself. He even says this when he talks about his cabin, “ I might come home when I was about thirty-five.”(pg.213) He decides that he might be able to accept to grow up by the time he is thirty-five. He doesn’t believe that he will be able to let go of the concept of innocence any sooner than that. Holden explains his thoughts at the end of the book, “ I mean how do you know what you’re going to do till you do it? The answer is, you don’t. I think I am, but how do I know? I swear it’s a stupid question.”(pg.213) He is pretty much confused on whether he should let go the feeling of innocence. His statement at the end tells us that he is tired of being questioned about his maturity, he admits that he doesn’t know when he will be able to
In The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield often refers to the people around him as ¨phonies.¨ Although he uses this word to describe almost everyone he meets, Holden never refers to himself as a phony. In reality, Holden Caulfield himself is the epitome of phony. He is a pathological liar, and he often pretends to be something that he is not.
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.
To start, Holden was proven to be careless with his schoolwork. He flunked out of several schools,
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). Holden contradicts himself by telling Sally that he “loved her” even though “it was a lie” he told because they were kissing (189). He even admits
In the novel The Catcher in the Rye J.D Salinger writes about a teenager struggling to find his place within the existence of the reality of others. Salinger creates shocking events that lay out the foundation of the the main character Holden Caulfield’s life in the novel. Salinger uses Holden’s characteristics throughout the novel such as Holden’s stubbornness to establish a much bigger theme in the book along with many other symbols.
In The Cather in the Rye Holden is indeed a hypocrite. Throughout the story Holden does many things that would define him as a hypocrite. He is immature and rebellious and wants people to treat him like an adult even though he isn’t one. Holden’s actions often contradict his words, which would make him a hypocrite.
The innocent actions some take later in life will reward some, and deteriorate others. Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye, by J.D Salinger delays his evitable process of growing up partly because of the tragic events that transpired earlier in his life and his ignorance to reality. However , Chris Mccandless differs from Holden in the fact that he fully understands reality but protests to greed of humans and the material possessions of man and still facing the gruesome consequence of his immaturity. Seymour Glass does not relate to the accepted adult community and further isolates himself from his peers. Although he appears immature, he actually is struggling from PTSD from the war and the picture his has for the violent adult man. All three characters reap from their successes and failures and
Evans is incorrect for assuming that the emotions Holden expresses are fabricated. In fact, Holden is a young man who feels incredibly deeply, but he often subconsciously chooses to conceal those feelings, like adolescents are known for doing. For example, when Old Maurice and Sunny come to his hotel room and abuse him to get the money he ‘owes’ them, he reveals, “I was still sort of crying. I was so damn mad and nervous and all“ (Salinger 103). He feels truly upset as a result of this personal injustice. Holden is also affected by the injustices others experience. When speaking with two nuns he meets at the diner, he comments that, “I hate it if I’m eating bacons and eggs or something and somebody else is only eating toast and coffee” (Salinger
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.
Attending school in the 1950s, Holden is a victim of a conformist American society. In a historical context, postwar America is characterized by a booming economy, industrialization and the creation of uniform suburban communities throughout the country. There was also a call for a united America, with the tensions of the Cold War taking hold and a need to fight communism. This attitude of uniformity could be seen in the American education system at the same time, where students were expected to fit the mould of the ideal American child. This child was idealized as being obedient, respectful and subordinate to their superiors. This is exactly what Holden grows to detest whilst attending Pencey, the conformist culture he was forced into, which Holden describes as “corny” (Salinger, 19) or “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. He lies intensely throughout the course of the novel, starting from lying to Ackley at the very beginning of the book. From his sarcastic tone in his conversation with other people, readers can denote his own cynical view on the world. Holden views adulthood as phony, hypocritical and fake while childhood in his mind is a world of innocence, honesty, and joy. That is the main reason why he wants to be a “catcher in the rye” to protect and save all the children from falling into the phony adult world. Holden Caulfield’s despise of fakeness causes his resistance of growing into a more mature person, with the lack of ability to interact with other people, make him a
In the novel Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger readers are introduced to a young man named Holden Caulfield who introduces himself and begins to tell his story of how and why he left his school; Pencey Prep. In the story, Holden explains how he is being kicked out of school and doesn't want his parents to know and so leaves school early. throughout the story, Holden explains what happens to him before he must go home and act like he is home from school for a break instead of being kicked out. When it comes to the topic of Author's purpose of The will of individual vs the will of the majority some will think the purpose is to show that Holden going against the will of society to rebel, however, I think the author’s purpose of The Catcher in the Rye was to show that the individual will manifest in his desire for isolation comes from his is fear and damage done by fear of pain, failure, rejection, and is unwilling or unable to go along with the majority. This all shown through Imagery, symbolism, and diction.
Holden Caulfield lives his life as an outsider to his society, because of this any we (as a reader) find normal is a phony to him. Basically, every breathing thing in The Catcher in the Rye is a phony expect a select few, like Jane Gallagher. What is a phony to Holden and why is he obsessed with them? A phony is anyone who Holden feels is that living their authentic life, like D.B. (his older brother). Or simply anyone who fits into society norms, for example, Sally Hayes. Holden’s obsession stems from his fear that he may become a phony one day. So, he spends the book running from adulthood by doing childish things and struggling to keep his life from changing.