How Does Holden Use Phonies In Catcher In The Rye

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Novels, books, and storytelling in general are known for their specific concepts in the lives of many people, teaching us how to live life to its potential, or not; however, songs carry the same principles stories do. A song of this caliber is presented in the song “Mad World” sung by Gary Jules, written by Roland Orzabal. The lyrics of “Mad World” clearly depict the Holden’s struggle with phonies and the dilemmas he encounters when facing adulthood embodied in J.D. Salinger’s first-person narrative novel The Catcher in the Rye. The lyric, “All around me are familiar faces/ Worn out places, worn out faces,” parallels with Holden’s endeavor with phonies. Holden despises phonies, people who seem to be something they are not and lie to themselves. …show more content…

Haas, that was the phoniest bastard I ever met in my life… old Hans would just shake hands with [parents] and give them a phony smile and then he'd go talk, for maybe a half an hour, with somebody else's parents. I can't stand that stuff. It drives me crazy,” (13-4). This sets the base for Holden’s dissatisfaction with phonies; he cannot tolerate people who act against righteous and moral acts. He feels that it establishes a false sense of the truth that lies behind the true nature of phonies. After watching the first act of a play with Sally, Holden sees a phony movie star with a woman and says, “You never saw so many phonies in all your life, smoking their ears off and talking about the play so that everybody could hear and know how sharp they are,” (126). After Sally …show more content…

When Holden tries to order alcohol in the Lavender Room of his hotel, the waiter says he is too young. Holden then thinks to himself, “They lose their jobs if they get caught selling to a minor. I’m a goddam minor,” (70). Holden sees the adult world as very strict and ruling. He believes that it is in the choice of one’s own self to make his/her own decisions—why he favors the freedom of a child/childhood. He also fears the loss of innocence children experience—after realizing why he cannot order alcohol. As Holden waits for Luce, he watches a movie, sitting next to a woman. Holden describes that the woman “had this little kid with her that was bored as hell and had to go to the bathroom, but she wouldn't take him. She kept telling him to sit still and behave himself. She was about as kindhearted as a goddam wolf,” (139-40). This event Holden experiences only confirms Holden’s beliefs of growing up; that the world he lives in only filled with containment and the loss of innocence, even for one’s own children. This loss of innocence and freedom only amplifies Holden’s beliefs of the adult world. When Holden returns home and sees Phoebe sleeping, he says, “She was laying there asleep, with her face sort of on the side of the pillow. You take adults, they look lousy when they're asleep, but kids don't. Kids

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