Free Catcher in the Rye Essays: Keeping It Real

Free Catcher in the Rye Essays: Keeping It Real

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Keeping It Real in The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye is a story about a kid named Holden Caulfield who experiences some interesting things and people. From having breakfast with a couple of nuns, to being with a prostitute, to getting kicked out of school, Holden handles each situation the best way he can. Some of the people Holden meets, he likes, but the type of people Holden cannot stand are the ‘phonies.’ Holden had met a lot of phonies in his lifetime. Holden lived in a dorm that was named after a phony, he heard a phony playing a piano, and he met his date’s phony friend. Holden went to a boarding school called Pencey Prep. There, Holden lived in the Ossenburger Memorial Wing. This hall was only for juniors and seniors. The dorms were named after a man named Ossenburger who also went to Pencey a long time ago. After Ossenburger got out of Pencey, he made a lot of money in the undertaking business and gave some of it to Pencey and that is why the new wing of the dorms are named after him. The morning after, Ossenburger gave a speech to the students of Pencey Prep regarding how he was never ashamed when he was in some kind of trouble. He stated that if so, he would get right down on his knees and pray to God. Ossenburger kept on rambling about how one should always pray to God and to talk to God wherever they were. Ossenburger said to think of him as your buddy. Holden was amused by his speech, and he could “just see the big phony bastard... asking Jesus to send him a few more stiffs.”

        Holder next went to a nightclub called Ernie’s for a few drinks. Even though it was so late, the club was packed. Ernie, the piano player, was playing some tune that Holden could not recognize. Ernie was putting in many high notes, showing off with ripples in the high notes, and doing a lot of other tricky things that Holden thought were dumb. However, the crowd was going crazy for Ernie, clapping and such. “Old Ernie turned around on his stool and gave this very phony, humble bow.” Though Holden thought Ernie’s snobbish attitude was so phony , he felt kind of sorry for Ernie.

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Holden does not think that Ernie even realizes when he is playing the tunes right or not.

     The last phony Holden met while out on a date with his girl, Sally. For their date, they went to a play called The Lunts. When the first act was over, Holden and Sally went outside for a smoke. Holden was listening to the people outside smoking who were also talking about the play. Because of the way they were talking, Holden judged them all as phonies. Sally was talking with Holden about the play until she saw a guy she knew on the other side of the lobby. The guy noticed Sally as well and came over to say hello. The guy and Sally were talking for a while until she finally introduced him to Holden as George. Holden thought that “he was the kind of phony that have to give themselves room when they answer somebody’s questions.”, which was the kind that he really hated.

             Holden showed that you can meet a phony at any time of the day and on any day of the week.  For example, you could one day be living in a dorm that is named after someone that you think is a phony. You could be out at some nightclub for a couple of drinks and hear a phony playing some tunes on a piano. You could even meet a phony while you are out on a date. So when you are in a situation dealing with phonies, do not become one. Just remember to keep it real.
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