1. Holden Caulfield is a seventeen-year-old boy from a wealthy family, who doesn’t care about many things and enjoys lying to other people. Holden makes a point throughout the first half of the book to show how skilled he is at lying to other people; however, he also hates when other people are phony. Therefore, Holden is a hypocrite, he holds other people to higher standards and considers them phonies, when Holden in fact is a phony considering his tendency to be dishonest and spin tales about himself. Even Holden doesn’t always seem to enjoy or be in control of his lying, for example, he states “Then I started reading this timetable I had in my pocket. Just to stop lying. Once I get started, I can go on for hours if I feel like it. No kidding. …show more content…
Throughout the first half of the book Holden is upset by people who do not have the same morals as him. When Holden perceives that someone has done something wrong, he resents that person. For example, Holden resented his previous headmaster and considered him a phony. Holden thought the headmaster was snubbing other parents, by acting charming to them, but only spending his time on the attractive parents. Holden states “I can’t stand that stuff. It drives me crazy. It makes me so depressed I go crazy” (Salinger 17). Therefore, he has a firm belief in what is right or wrong, and he considers people that don’t meet his standards to be …show more content…
Therefore, since being a phony goes against his sense of right and wrong, he avoids doing the movie short. Holden’s sense of right and wrong is a little strange, for example, some people might think it is wrong to lie, but Holden lies frequently throughout the first half of the book. Additionally, Holden lies, but doesn’t consider himself a phony. This is curious, because Holden’s excessive lying seems like the behavior of a “phony,” which is exactly what Holden dislikes most in the world. Therefore, his behavior appears to go against his own sense of right and wrong. Overall, I think Holden has a strong sense of right and wrong, however his actions don’t always reflect his morals. He believes it is wrong, or “phony” for others to lie, or be ingenuine, however he lies excessively even when he doesn’t particularly have something to gain from lying. It is possible, if he connected how his behavior mirrors what he dislikes most in others, he might be more likely to act according to his own sense of right or wrong, but if he continues to believe he is not a “phony,” he will continue to see others are in the wrong, and think he is in the
Instead of telling her the truth, he says he has to go home because he has a tumor in his brain. Holden calls whoever lies to look better in public a phony, but he performs similar actions. Salinger does not portray Holden’s expectations as reasonable because he portrays Holden’s character as not living up to the same expectations. Holden holds a lot of expectations for who is phony and who is not but he is often found contradicting the same expectations. He calls people that lie to look good in front of others phonies, but he finds it okay to repeatedly lie to Ernest Morrow’s mother.
His most common acts of defiance are running away and being a liar. Holden ran away from Pencey, and avoided going home just to avoid the punishment his father would dish out upon him. Phoebe says exactly what he would do to him: "Daddy's going to kill you." (173) Holden lied many times, broke many laws, and is a general hypocrite in this sense. He attempts to get sympathy quite a few times throughout the story, going so far as to claim he has a “tiny little tumor on the brain” (58) when asked why he was getting out of school so early by Ernest Morrow’s mother.
He asked Sally Hayes on a date and asks a people he does not even like to go out with him. It does not make sense how he wants an emotional connection with someone but does not want to make a connection especially with new people. Holden is an extremely judgmental person and judges just about everyone. He believes that everyone is insecure, fake, out to get him or his most common word, “phony.” He has so much to say about everyone but never actually confronts him or her and says it.
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.
Despite these character flaws, Holden has many strengths such as being noble, sympathetic, and having an unstoppable desire to protect those close to him as revealed to us in the true meaning of “Catcher in the Rye.” One major character flaw that Holden shows us is him being a pathological liar. An example of the character flaw is displayed when he meets a classmate’s
Although Holden considers his school liars for not fully implementing their motto, he also labels himself ‘the most terrific liar.” Consequently, in almost every situation, Holden finds a way to develop fictitious stories of his life to avoid speaking the truth. On a train ride to New York, Holden encounters mother of classmate Ernest Morrow and creates a fake identity to falsely praise her son, who he actually considers the “biggest bastard” at Pencey. Holden’s inability to remain honest displays how he is no different than the classmates he criticizes for sharing only certain aspects of themselves to the rest of the world. Additionally, during the novel there are many times where Holden acts opposite to his own beliefs.
As I stated earlier on, at first I did not appreciate Holden’s character. I thought he was aggressive, rude, and a tad bit cruel, especially with his attitude and the tendency to classify those around him in such a way that prevents him from truly getting to know others and experience what they are able to bring into his life. The further I read, especially towards the end with more coming into the light I started to realize that Holden is not a cruel or overly judgmental person, he is just broken. The more I analyzed Holden’s character, the more I was able to see myself through the trail of his words and actions. Holden is undoubtedly misunderstood by those around him but through no fault but his own.
During therapy, Holden recalled numerous events where he would act cynical towards 'phony ' people. Although acting mean towards people you don 't like may seem somewhat relatable, the extent of Holden 's skeptical behavior was simply beyond comprehensive. Holden always tries finds errors in companions he wishes to relate with, but as a result of the discovery of these flaws, he ends up breaking relationships. I remember him talking about a couple of people in particular, one of them being his own brother, D.B.. "
When he was on his date with Sally at the movies, he thought, “You never saw so many phonies in all your life, everybody smoking their ears off and talking about the play so that everybody could hear and know how sharp they were.” (68). With every situation that Holden went through, he seemed to be distraught at the end, because he was so caught up in the the foibles of everyone around him. The behaviors of others always made him so full of antipathy towards everyone, and if he just remembered to “be on good terms with all people,” he would have benefited greatly. At the end of his date with Sally, “they both hated each other's guts by that time.
In conclusion, Holden is a phony because because he pretends to be someone that he is not, he contradicts himself, and he blames others for things that he is responsible for. Holden, making such a big deal about phonies ended up being one. This shows that no matter what you do, the society will always play a big role in influencing one’s behavior and the way that one
Holden refuses to take life seriously and is almost proud of it. He's rude to most people he talks to and is unnecessarily fake with who he's civil with. He has some major growing up to do, but who doesn't? Holden Caulfield is not an honest person.
Holden's hypocrisy towards this way of acting is unbelievable to the reader. Proving to the audience that he's a sick, unreliable narrator to trust. Another Secondary source coming from Susan K. Mitchell explains how in-depth she is into Holdens hypocrisy in the novel. She states “Holden will not tell much about his parents beyond his veiled opinion that they both are phony hypocrites. The reader is not even told their first names.
Holden struggles with growing up and facing reality. There are many examples of Holden’s immaturity that are displayed in many forms such as facing responsibilities, his speech, his actions, and etc. Holden’s outlook on adult life is that it is superficial and brimming with phonies, but childhood was all about looking pleasing and innocent. He wants everything to stay the same and for time to stop. As Holden progresses in age, he will discover more about becoming mature in the
Furthermore, Holden starts to hate all the adults or loses faith in them, calls them phony. Holden has a second thought of becoming an adult he loses hope in his future and it seems to him nothing in the world matters to him anymore. We can see that throughout the book. He smokes, gets drunk, and does daring acts like getting a prostitute in his room. He also tries to escape all this guilt and grief by wasting time with unnecessary people he calls phony.