This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Phony Theme Of The Catcher In The Rye

1441 words - 6 pages

The Phony Theme of The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger

 
     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 more dead bodies to he can get even richer. Holden has just begun to discover all the "phoniness" in society, but he is about to stumble onto some more. Holden hates those magazines that the steward sells on the train. Holden cites, "I can usually even read one of those dumb stories in a magazine without puking. You know. One of those stories with a lot of phony, lean-jawed guys named David in it, and a lot of phony girls named Linda or Marcia that are always lighting all the goddam Davids' pipes for them" (53). Holden cannot stand that all the stupid same old stories. The ones where there is always a hero and saves someone that is in trouble. After that Holden felt a little down so he decided to pass the time. Holden knows this girl named Sally Hayes. They used to send a lot of time together when they were younger. Holden is bored and decides to give her a call. He calls her and her father answers and then gives the phone to Sally. Sally Hayes picked up the phone and asks, "yes--who is this?" Holden goes on to state, "she was quite a little phony. I'd already told her father who it was" (106). Holden cannot believe that she knows who is calling but asks for no reason. Sally is just trying to play a...

Find Another Essay On The Phony Theme of The Catcher In The Rye

The Theme of Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

768 words - 3 pages The Theme of Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger In the novel Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, the protagonist Holden Caulifield views the world as an evil corrupt place where there is no peace. Holden has a phony phobia that restricts him from becoming a fully matured adult. In Holden's attempted journey in becoming a fully matured adult, he encounters many scenarios involving friendship, personal opinions, and his love of children. His

Comparing Todays music with the THEME of Catcher in The Rye

1001 words - 4 pages , self-dormant, high achieving selves according to what kind of music we listen to and its tone. As so, the tone of this novel, A Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, can be expressed through various forms of music. Music that can express the confusion, determination, and love for innocence Holden has throughout this story.At the very beginning of the novel Holden seems to be unsure as to where he wanted to be, indicating a tone of confusion

The Theme of Escape in ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by JD Salinger and ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ by Mark Twain

1579 words - 7 pages In extract one from chapter 12 in The Catcher in the Rye Holden takes another taxi ride from his hotel to a nightclub. He meets a cab driver, a man named Horwitz, and engages him in a conversation in which he reveals his anxiety towards society and his growing depression. Extract 2 from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is from chapter 16 and features Huck and Jim drifting further south on their raft to Cairo, whereupon Huck grows more

Discuss the theme of alienation in "the Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger and "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier

1340 words - 5 pages known as the Vigils. The Catcher in the Rye introduces Holden Caufield who has segregated himself from all but a few of those surrounding him, and is deeply troubled by this. The alienation wrought by Caufield's awkward ascension into adulthood is manifested in his fallacious attempts to casually interact with others. Because of their ages, Jerry and Holden feel threatened by the individuals whom they would normally associate themselves. This

"The Lost Shepherd." This Essay examines the prevalent theme of Holden Caulfield as a protector of innocence in "The Catcher and the Rye."

1924 words - 8 pages The title of a book can often illuminate the central idea of the book. In The Catcher in the Rye the meaning of the title becomes clear when Holden's sister asks him what he wants to be, and he says that all he wants to be is the "catcher in the rye" from a popular children's song. In this role he envisions himself as the lone guardian watching a group of children playing on a cliff; he alone can save them from plummeting into the abyss

Moral Struggle. It traces American theme of moral struggle through Modernism, citing JD Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, and through Realism with WD Howells's Editha

1727 words - 7 pages place and the surrounding society also has an affect on the theme. Moral struggle is the most popular theme written about over time. By comparing this idea throughout the literary eras, authors, historical events, and society, it will be apparent that modern American authors of the 21st century still have the same views as the early settlers of the New World.The Catcher in the Rye, written by JD Salinger is a classic example of a moral struggle

Catcher In The Rye

558 words - 2 pages On the Run from Reality You can escape from jail, school, or even from eating your vegetables at home, but how can you escape from reality? In the book Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger creates a main character that tries to escape from reality. This character, Holden Caulfield, sees that most people cope with reality by being phony and making self-destructive choices. Holden, in the other hand, escapes reality by fantasizing about his

Catcher In The Rye

554 words - 2 pages easier to understand why he thought they was he did on certain issues.        The theme of Catcher In The Rye canbe stated in the following statement; life is not always fair and people arenot always fair, but you should try to make the best of everything.  Holden knew quite a few people, and some ofthem he didn't like, but he was always nice to them and never tried to do anythingto intentionally hurt them.  Also, whenhe got

Catcher in the Rye

648 words - 3 pages example, contain universal themes and they still have the ability to electrify readers' veins today. J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye is one of these proud classics and is so because it can speak to the masses of all generations and peoples. One major theme of universality in this book is the coming of age. Though his slang words may be dated, Holden's story still shows the experience and emotion that modern teenagers go through today

Catcher In The Rye

955 words - 4 pages Catcher in the Rye EssayHolden Caulfield is clearly portrayed as an existentialist as illustrated through his lack of confidence, the distinct ways he isolates himself from the world, and his different personal beliefs.While reading the book "Catcher in The Rye" one could not help but to notice the issue that seems to be the lack of confidence in Holden's life. Very early on in the book, Holden states a few facts that explain what seems to be a

Catcher in the Rye

1238 words - 5 pages “Catcher in the Rye”, written by J.D Salinger, is a coming-of-age novel. Narrated by the main character, Holden Caulfield, he recounts the days following his expulsion from his school. This novel feels like the unedited thoughts and feelings of a teenage boy, as Holden narrates as if he is talking directly to readers like me. I disliked “Catcher in the Rye”. There seems to be no actual, concrete plot to this novel. The novel is essentially a

Similar Essays

Catcher In The Rye: "Phony" Colloquialism

1338 words - 5 pages Chapter 13 4/3/14 2:59 P.M. Details Conclusion -Visits Mr. Spencer at his house -Feels bad for him -The smell of medicine and the sight of Mr. Spencer depresses him -Feels annoyed by Mr. Spencer's questions -Says he's immature but he sometimes acts older than what he really is -Thinks about where the ducks in the park go during the winter -Gets up twice to pick up thing Mr. Spencer threw on the floor while aiming for the bad -Says that

The Theme Of Hypocrisy In The Catcher In The Rye

542 words - 2 pages 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

The Theme Of Innocence In The Catcher In The Rye

1128 words - 5 pages In many novels the title of the story is more important than most people initially think. It often reveals important information about the story. In The Catcher In the Rye, Holden says that his dream job would to be the catcher in rye. This is significant to the story because of how Holden feels that adults are trying to ruin the innocence of children, and how he can be the one that saves them. Holden then realizes he cannot always be the one to

The Catcher In The Rye Theme Analysis

927 words - 4 pages themselves from the world leads teens down a depressed life. One of the most prevalent themes in the novel The Catcher in the Rye is how loneliness affects teenagers and leads them to a buildup of unhappy emotions. Salinger shows Holden’s loneliness when he tries to think of someone to talk to when he first gets to New York. Instead Holden gets to the phone booth and “ends up not calling anybody” (59). Holden really wants to talk to someone, but as