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Holden's 'Phony In Catcher In The Rye'

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novel were introduced by Salinger because of similar life experiences that he had gone through. One of the events that contributes to Holden using the word “phony” throughout the novel in order to show his hatred for society, was contributed to because of the experiences Salinger had while serving as a sergeant in the Cold War. Salinger as a child was also moved between prep schools just as Holden was. The audience is shown that being stuck in a place like New York City as a teenager is a stressful as you would think. Holden searches throughout New York City looking for truth and his purpose for life. Salinger shows through Holden the struggle of maturing in a society full of adults as a teenager, trying to find their identity. Holden Caulfield…show more content…
Holden hates adults showing his immaturity to the audience correlating to his view of wanting to be, “the catcher in the rye” and save the youth. As a result of Holden’s actions he is seen as being very immature because he is upset with adults, who are “phony” in his eyes. These adults have not caused Holden any harm, exposing immaturity and rational judgement. Which is shown in The Fallen Idol: The Immature World of Holden Caulfield by Peter J. Seng, “Sensitive and perceptive as Holden is, he is still an adolescent and so an immature judge of an adult life.”(Seng, 205) Seng describes to the audience that although Holden is “Sensitive and perceptive” he is still very immature in the way that he does not filter his actions when talking to adults. Thus, showing the readers the aggression he has towards them because he feels that they prevent him from knowing the…show more content…
Salinger’s narrative strategy of making Holden being quick to judge makes his point come across, but at the same time makes the audience feel that Holden is not a credible source because he does the same things that he calls people out for doing. Holden does the same things he calls people “phony” for doing, making the audience consider if they can trust him. Holden himself is guilty of being phony because he feels the adults in his life have forced him to be. Holden has no one that he is able to vent to because he pushes them away by being hard headed and not listening to anyone thus causing him to lie to himself which keeps the truth even further away from him. Seng makes it a point in, “The Fallen Idol: The Immature World of Holden Caulfield”, to show that, “While holden is quick to pass judgement on others he is not so quick to see the faults in himself.”(Seng 205) Seng makes it a point that in order for the audience to understand the novel as a whole it is crucial for the audience to realize that Holden is also
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