Analysis Of Salinger 's ' The Catcher 's The Rye '

1052 Words5 Pages
The phoniness, in which the characters use, contributes to the manipulation of values and ideals of individuals who succumb to the pressure of society. In J.D Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger reveals his abomination for phoniness through Holden’s experience with the adult world. Phoniness creates a structured society where the connotations of success are deceptive. In addition, it sets standards and expectations for how individuals should act based on their social status. Furthermore, it interferes with one’s honesty by abolishing their authenticity and sincerity. In The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger suggests how the lack of authenticity and the manipulation of one’s originality can be traced back to the use of phoniness in…show more content…
Ultimately, the phoniness of those who are “successful” manipulated him into believing that monetary success results in satisfaction with his life and tarnished his passion for writing stories when he was younger. Society sets fixed standards based on the phoniness of successful individuals, just as they do with people. Salinger uses prejudices to reveal how the phoniness of people can lead to society creating expectations for how certain people should act. Mr. Spencer and Mr. Antolini are two characters who share similar roles in society, but act differently towards Holden. They are both intellectual and care about Holden’s future, but Mr. Antolini acts more like a paternal figure whereas Mr. Spencer acts as the archetypal teacher. However, Holden still sees Mr. Antolini as a teacher, which is why he is scared and quickly passes judgments onto his actions. Mr. Antolini’s social expectation, as a teacher, is to educate his students as other teachers do, such as Mr. Spencer. Conversely, Mr. Antolini goes beyond his expectations and is truly concerned about Holden’s future, not acting as a phony teacher who pretends to care. However, after having many teachers like Mr. Spencer, Holden confuses a sign of affection with a sexual advancement even though Mr. Antolini is showing authenticity, ironically, something Holden admires from people. His mind is set on the fact that Mr. Antolini is only a teacher,
Open Document