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Phoniness/Deceit in "The Catcher in the Rye"
Hey, I'm Holden Caufield, just some kid who has to tell you my whole life story cause my mother thinks I'm insane or whatever. What a phony she is, she only sent me here cause I went around New York City and enjoyed myself for once. So what if I had a few drinks and smoked a little bit. I'm basically a full grown adult.
Scene 1: Holden is on the train and haves a conversation with an old lady.
"My name is Rudolf Schmidt." (Salinger p.61)
"Oh how nice!...May I ask your name dear?" (Salinger p.61)
Scene 2: Outside of the theater during the intermission
"At the end of the first act we went out with all the other jerks for a cigarette. What a deal that was. You never saw so many phonies in all your life, everybody smoking their ears off and talking about the play so that everybody could hear and know how sharp they were." (Salinger p.140)
Phoniness is often characterized as an act someone performs when they truly do not want to reveal their identity or any real information about their self. Throughout the book, Holden is shown to be a pathological liar and acts a phony to the characters throughout his journey.
In this scene, Holden is on the train going to a hotel . While Holden is on the train he ends up in a conversation with a lady who sits across from him. She notices the Pency sticker on Holden's suitcase and asks him if he knows her son, Ernest, who also goes to Pency. As the conversation goes on, the lady asks what Holden's name was and he replies baying his name was Rudolf Schmidt, the janitor who works at Pency.
During this scene, Holden and Sally are at the theater seeing a play. After the first act is finished Holden and Sally go outside with everyone else to smoke. As Holden is smoking he looks around the crowded area and accuses everyone of being phonies, except him and Sally.
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