Catcher In The Rye Phony Analysis

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Phonyphobia? Is someone afraid of phony people a phonyphobic? In the novel the Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, a teenager named Holden struggles with the interaction between most other people because he believes that they are phony. This novel takes place in the 1950’s which were very different times comparing to present day. Holden struggles with people because he believes they are fake, however he preforms tasks that reflect himself as a phony as well. Holden’s constant dishonesty, contradiction, and unprincipled actions depict that his contempt for phonies is unwarranted due to the fact that he is ultimately a phony himself. Holden constantly lies and deceives people throughout the whole novel, which reveals his phoniness. After Holden leaves Pencey and boards the train, a woman sits next to him, they begin to talk and Holden tells her his name, “‘Rudolf Schmidt,’ I told her... Rudolf Schmidt is the name of the janitor of our dorm” (61). By blatantly lying to this woman that Holden has never…show more content…
After Holden makes a date with Sally, he sees her and he describes, “I didn’t even like her much, and yet all of the sudden I felt like I was in love with her and wanted to marry her” (138). Holden states several times throughout the novel that men that do not really like women but still go out with them are phony. Holden contradicts himself as he says this about Sally, ultimately showing that he is a phony himself. After Holden gets into a fight with Stradlater, Holden explains, “I’m a pacifist, if you want to know the truth” (52). Minutes after Holden acts with extreme temper against Stradlater, and even attempts to punch him, he explains how he is a pacifist. This contradictory statement is one of many shown throughout the novel, which reveals Holden’s true self as a complete phony. Holden preforms many tasks throughout the novel that depict him as completely
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