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Hypocrisy in 'The Catcher in the Rye'

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Introduction

Hypocritical Holden (Holden often behaves like a prophet or a saint, pointing out the phoniness and wickedness in the world around him. Is Holden as perfect as he wants to be? Are there instances where he is phony and full of hypocrisy? What do these moments reveal about his character and his psychological problems?) Whether or not we are willing to admit it, we are all guilty of indulging in the practice that is hypocrisy. The 1951 novel, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is a literary text in which the theme of affectation is present, and, like its existence in real life, the hypocrisy at hand is unseen by the main character. ...read more.

Middle

Holden?s intention is to put an end to the curse words in the school, but by doing so, he utilizes those words in his speech, and ends up adding to them. As a person who holds characteristics of a hypocrite, Holden often draws attention to the flaws and hypocrisy demonstrated by other people, his most commonly used word being ?phony.? Holden sees adulthood as the place of phoniness, and as a result resists growing up. For example, Holden considers his brother D.B. a sellout, because he writes scripts for the over exaggerated Hollywood, instead of raw and serious material. In addition, Holden finds phoniness in the character Sally Hayes. Sally tends to flit from one thing to another in the moments she notices them, and over-exaggerates her emotions. ...read more.

Conclusion

?I kept thinking about Jane? (53). This shows Holden?s own phoniness, because despite the number of chances he has to see Jane, he never does due to his fear of rejection. In conclusion, Holden is a hypocritical character. His personal phoniness is manifested through his contradiction of his own moral standards. Holden claims to be an ethical character, yet violates so many of his self contrived principles. In addition, Holden?s own hypocrisy is reinforced in his condemnation of other characters. With the exception of a handful of individuals, throughout the novel, Holden finds and blatantly mentions the imperfections of every character he interacts with. Moreover, Holden?s actions reflect his hypocrisy. He practices in many activities he considers phony, and does not undertake the ?suitable? ones. These elements fortify the idea that Holden is a hypocrite, which makes him an emotionally conflicted character. ...read more.

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