In Paul's Case, the Rat Race is described as the monotonous and boring cycle of reaching mediocrity and following the footsteps of those who reached that level before you. This is mainly represented by Cornelia Street, a street where average Joes live and mingle together. But Paul is sick of the rat race and schools who trap people in the rat race, and hides his disdain towards them.
"You ought to go to a boys' school sometime. Try it sometime," I said. "It's full of phonies, and all you do is study so that you can learn enough to be smart enough to be able to buy a goddam Cadillac some day, and you have to keep making believe you give a damn if the football team loses, and all you do is talk about girls and liquor and sex all day, and everybody sticks together in these dirty little goddam cliques.
They continued their goddam boring conversation. They kept thinking of more places and more names of people that lived there. The worst part was, the jerk had one of those very phony, Ivy League voices, one of those very tired, snobby voices.
All those Ivy League bastards look alike. My father wants me to go to Yale, or maybe Princeton, but I swear, I wouldn't go to one of those Ivy League colleges, if I was dying, for God's sake.
In "The Catcher In The Rye" Holden often uses the word 'phony' to describe the overachievers of the rat race, which includes Ivy League students. Holden notices the lack of sincerity of these shallow people, and blames it on the mindless rat race and schools.
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