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Catcher in the Rye Essay

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What is phony? As a teenager, Holden Caulfield complains about the phoniness of adult world and searches desperately for a person who can help him cross the road, that is, grow up without losing his innocence. However, he is contradicting himself by being the greatest phony of all. He lies to strangers to protect himself, and he also says others are all phonies just for not facing the reality. Throughout the novel The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger provides many pieces of evidences which indicate that phoniness is the pretension, and shallowness actions that everyone tends to do and one will hardly realized about his own phoniness. Phoniness is the pretension that everyone will do at some stage during their life, in fact, anyone could be a phony. For example, in the novel, when Holden meets Mrs. Morrow on the train, he enjoys fooling her by lying about her son Ernest. He tells her his name is Rudolph Schmidt, the name of the Janitor at Pencey Prep. Holden says in his own mind, "I didn't feel like giving her my whole life history. ...read more.


However, Holden is in fact more of a phony than the people that he accuses. Holden believes that all adults are phony because of the fact that they take responsibility for their lives, even when things don't go your way, adults have to cope. Holden finds it particularly difficult to accept that his parents are able to move on from Allie's death. His parents move forward, continue to live, to work and earn money. Unfortunately for Holden, he doesn't realize that life has to go on anyways, even though you bear a deep sadness and loss in your heart. D.B., Holden's older brother is also a phony in Holden's perspective, because he writes for Hollywood instead of serious books. Yet Holden himself, who refuses to participate in being a responsible student, doesn't see his own faults. In fact, his family is not pretending to live, they are not phony. What is phony is that Holden's refusal to grow up. Holden seems to be phony when he pretends to remain a child, when he knows that, he is maturing into a young adult. ...read more.


He opened up to her in a way that he hasn't opened to anyone else, but she completely shoots him down. In order not to feel hurt, he needs to put her down to show that her opinions weren't worth anything in the first place. Holden thinks he can "cope" with others well when he pretends or being shallow like others. He only wants to run away from the painful world by acting like a phony. In conclusion, through all the evidences above, phoniness can be affected when people want to protect themselves from something or even the reality; it can be the superficial way of a person to do things for varies of reasons. Phoniness exists in our society today just as it does in the book. However, people will never realize about their phoniness without others telling them, just like they can never see themselves without a mirror. Just like Holden, eventually leading himself to a mental breakdown. Word Count: 1098 Sources: Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, 1951. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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