In life there comes a time when everyone thinks that they are surrounded by phoniness. This often happens during the teen years when the person is trying to find a sense of direction. Holden Caulfield, a 16-year-old teen-ager is trying to find his sense of direction in J.D. Salinger's, "The Catcher In The Rye." Holden has recently been expelled from Pency Prep for failing four out of his five classes. He decides to start his Christmas recess early and head out to New York. While in New York Holden faces new experiences, tough times and a world of "phony." Holden is surrounded by phoniness because that is the word he uses to identify everything in the world that he rejects.
Holden uses the word phony to identify everything in the world that he rejects. He always sees something wrong with everybody. People are too talkative, too quiet, or just weird. He thinks that he is the perfect person but no one believes that he is. With this, Holden believes that he is surrounded by "phoniness." Holden lives in Ossenburger Hall, which is named after a wealthy Pencey graduate who made a fortune in the discount funeral home business. Ossenburger went to the chapel and made a speech that lasted about "ten hours." Holden goes on to say that he cracked about fifty corny jokes and then Ossenburger emphasizes that "he talked to Jesus all the time, even when he was driving his car." Holden thinks this is a load of crap and asserts, "'that killed me. I just see the big phony bastard shifting into first gear and asking Jesus to send him a few more stiffs" (17). Holden can't believe what he just heard. He sees this big "phony" praying to Jesus to send him some...
... middle of paper ...
... the things around him that he couldn't before.
Bloom, Harold. Major Literary Characters: Holden Caulfield. New York: Chelsea House, 1990.
Kaplan, Robert B. Cliff's Notes: Catcher In The Rye. Lincoln: Cliff's Notes, Inc., 1999.
Marsden, Malcolm M. If You Really Want To Know: A Catcher Casebook. Chicago: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1963.
Pinsker, Sanford. The Catcher In The Rye: Innocence Under Pressure. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1993.
Roemer, Danielle M. "The Personal Narrative and Salinger's Catcher in the Rye". Western Folklore 51 (1992): 5-10.
Salinger, J.D. The Catcher In The Rye. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1951.
Wildermuth, April. "Nonconformism in the Works of J.D. Salinger." 1997 Brighton High School. 24 November 2002. <http://ww.bcsd.org/BHS/english/mag97/papers/Salinger.htm>
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Theme of Hypocrisy in The Catcher In The Rye In the novel The Catcher In The Rye, the protagonist Holden Caulfield views his surroundings with hypocrisy and contempt in an attempt to avoid the corruption of adulthood. Holden places himself above the crowd because he believes everyone acts phony. In the process, Caulfield reveals his true problem: his refusal to change. Holden fears adulthood because it brings responsibilities and trouble. He believes all adults possess an aurora of "phoniness." His disgust of everyone around him reveals his fear of growing up.... [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]
499 words (1.4 pages)
- In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, the leading character, Holden Caulfield, emerges as an adolescence lost in his own private world of pain and suffering, yet ostensibly he was able to provide himself with all the luxuries and splendors of American society. Holden is presented as a failure who struggles to stay in at least one of the four schools he's been kicked out of. This can reflect that Holden can't manage to get by in life. Throughout the book, it is obvious that Holden is running from so many things such as growing up, reality and people who are phonies.... [tags: catcher in the rye, holden caulfied]
1350 words (3.9 pages)
- Free Essay on The Catcher in the Rye The catcher in the rye is a work of fiction and a tragic-comedy. I came to choose it because I heard it is about a boy who is around my age. In this book, the main character, Holden Caulfield, tells us a story about what happened during his Christmas vacation. Holden is a sixteen-year-old boy who has flunked out of a private prep school. Because he is afraid that his parents would find out this fact, he goes to a hotel in New York City instead of going home after he leaves school for Christmas vacation.... [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]
895 words (2.6 pages)
- Existentialism in Catcher in the Rye The Catcher in the Rye creates an existentialist out of Holden Caulfield by giving him a strong personal opinion, a different sense of view, and isolation. Holden's individuality and his different way of thinking creates within him an Existentialist that refuses to accept weakness but holds sympathy for the weak and vulnerable. The basis for these beliefs lies within the most commonly identifiable theme of existentialism, which states that the philosophy stresses the concrete individual existence along with the individual freedom and choice.... [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]
615 words (1.8 pages)
- Levels of Meaning in The Catcher in the Rye Protected by a cocoon of naiveté, Holden Caulfield, the principal character in the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, therapeutically relates his lonely 24 hour stay in downtown New York city, experiencing the "phony" adult world while dealing with the death of his innocent younger brother. Through this well-developed teenage character, JD Salinger, uses simple language and dialogue to outline many of the complex underlying problems haunting adolescents.... [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]
901 words (2.6 pages)
- Holden's Perception of Others in Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger's novel Catcher in the Rye revolves around Holden's encounters with other people. He divides all people into two different categories, the "phonies" and the authentics. Holden refers to a "phony" as someone who discriminates against others, is a hypocrite, or has manifestations of conformity. A person's age, gender, and occupation, play a key role in how Holden interacts with them. Holden shows a particular liking towards children over adults.... [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]
1179 words (3.4 pages)
- 1950's Culture Exposed in The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye is a remarkable book that gives readers a unique and perhaps gloomy perspective of the 1950's through Holden Caulfield, a cynical and peculiar teenager. Through The Catcher in the Rye Salinger describes important aspects of the 1950's. Salinger emphasizes several key characteristics of the 50's and criticizes them through Holden. In addition, Holden Caulfield is a very interesting character with several traits that put him at odds with society.... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]
1360 words (3.9 pages)
- J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye "There’s far more to the censorship issue than a ban on sex and four-letter words. I sometimes think that those of us who need to be the most clearheaded about these matters are planting the very trees that obscure our view of the forest," says Dorothy Briley. According to Briley, a vast amount more is needed than simply vulgar language and suggestive material to censor a novel. But this is the very reason why J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye is frequently being banned from high schools.... [tags: Salinger Catcher Rye Essays]
912 words (2.6 pages)
- Themes of Society and Growing Up in The Catcher in the Rye In reading J.D. Salinger's novel, The Catcher in the Rye, one is compelled to have a very strong reaction to the contents of the book. Whether that reaction is negative or positive, it is unquestionable that the reader will give the novel a second thought after reading it. There could be many reasons why this novel has such an impact on the readers. It may be the use of Salinger's catchy slang phrases, bitingly sarcastic and usually negative, grabbing the attention of the reader. Another possibility is Holden, the novel's subject and lead character. "He describes everything as 'phony', is constantly in search of sincerit... [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]
1380 words (3.9 pages)
- The Misfit Hero of The Catcher In The Rye The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger was published in 1951. "A recurring theme in J.D. Salinger's stories concerns people who don't fit in with the traditional American Culture. Salinger's 'misfit heroes', unlike the rest of society, are caught in the struggle between a superficial world and a conscious morality" (1 Wildermuth). In his attempt to create a new and realistic portrayal of the times, Salinger first, effectively creates Holden Caulfield, the main character.... [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]
2104 words (6 pages)