Essay On Holden Caulfield Phony

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Phony friends, phony words, and phony movies, this is the way that J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye character Holden Caulfield sees the world. In Holden’s journey from Pencey Prep to his home in New York he talks about many people some of whom he met on the journey and others he had met during his time at previous preparatory schools. The one thing that almost everyone he talks about has in common is that according to Holden they are all phony. This includes teachers, friends, acquaintances, and most people that he comes into contact with. Holden is living a phony life because although he ridicules the world and people besides Jane Gallagher and Phoebe Caulfield for being phony he himself is guilty of being phony. Holden seems to think that …show more content…
Throughout his journey home Holden lies to almost everyone he meets including the reader. He lies to complete strangers like Ernest Morrow’s mother Holden literally lies about his name, Ernest himself, the reason his face is bleeding. Holden even tells her that the reason he left Pencey early is because he is having an operation for a small tumor on his brain. This is an extravagant lie that he honestly has no reason to say other than he wants to. Holden’s lies do not stop with strangers on trains, but he also lies to Sally while they are on their way to the movies in the cab. He says “I told her I loved her and all. It was a lie, of course, but the thing is, I meant it when I said it.”(139). This is only one example of Holden lying to Sally he also talks about they could run away together and live in Massachusetts or in Vermont even though this is practically impossible considering they are not even grown adults. While reading the book even the reader must be wary of the statements that Holden makes since he does not seem to be completely truthful even to the reader. For example, Holden says that his brother is a prostitute in Hollywood which is not true considering his brother is actually a writer. This only further proves that Holden is phony himself to nearly everyone he meets or talks