Catcher in They Rey - Holdens Contradictory Views of the World

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  • Topic: Fraud, Contradiction, Novel
  • Pages : 3 (1217 words )
  • Download(s) : 287
  • Published : November 21, 2012
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With close reference to pages 183-186 analyse Salinger’s use of language and structure, exploring Holden’s contradictory view of the world. On Page 183 Holden says ‘you could tell the two hot- shots I was with weren’t enjoying it too much. They stayed close as hell to me, and the one that didn’t talk at all practically was holding onto my sleeve’. Holden calls them ‘hot shots’ because they acted phony by bunking school and then lying about there being no school. (P182). Throughout the novel, Holden seems to have a problem with the whole idea of ‘phoniness’, yet at times, he himself acts phony. Holden considers movies to be extremely phony and criticises his brother because he moved to Hollywood. Holden emphasises his hatred for Hollywood and movies throughout the novel. Holden states his problem with phonies on page 184 when he says ‘I’d have this rule that nobody could do anything phony when they visited me. If anybody tried to do anything phony, they couldn’t stay’. He constantly demonstrates the idea that if people are ‘phony’ it’s a bad thing. We see this on pages 72/73 when he is talking about Ernie. He says that Ernie ‘is a terrific snob and he won’t hardly even talk to you unless you’re a big shot or a celebrity or something’. In this sentence, Holden implies that just because Ernie is good at playing the piano he thinks he can treat people badly, as if he is better than them. This seems to be Holden’s main dislike about ‘phoniness’, the fact that people act ‘phony’ because they think they are better than you. This is also shown on page 23 when Holden says that stradlater fixed himself up all the time because he was ‘madly in love with himself. He thought he was the handsomest guy in the whole of West Hemisphere’. He criticises Stradlater’s love for himself because he sees this as an act of ‘phoniness’. While criticising people due to their ‘phoniness’ throughout the novel, Holden himself acts ‘phony’ on multiple occasions. On pages 48-52, when...
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