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In Salingers novel The Catcher in the Rye Holden the novels protagonist is a character that is growing from youth to maturity Throughout the novel Holden resists the process of maturity itself by admiring children and criticizing the adults way of thinking and behaving Holden creates his own theory that adulthood is a world of superficiality and phoniness while childhood is a world of honesty and innocence In fact phoniness which is probably the most famous phrase in the novel is one of Holdens favourite concepts Phoniness becomes a phrase that Holden uses to describe the hypocrisy of adults However the criticisms that Holden directs at adults around him are also directed to himself He is uncomfortable with his own weaknesses and at times shows as much meanness and hypocrisy as any other adult in the book As the novel progresses we see that Holden is standing poised on the cliff separating childhood from adulthood Unable to neither maintain himself as a child nor become a full-fledged adult Holden finds himself in the midst of an emotional break down Throughout the novel Holden criticizes adults by constantly using the term phony to describe the superficiality and shallowness of their actions As he flits from one meaningless encounter to another Holden tries to enforce his view on different aspects of the hypocoristic realm of adulthood He first criticizes adults whose surface behaviour distorts and disguises their inner feelings We see this when he criticizes Mr Spencer a former history teacher who is very old and ill with the flu for the way he describes his parents Grand There is a word I hate Its a phony I could puke every time I hear it Salinger 9 He then points out the deceitfulness of adults as he talks about Mr Ossenburger a wealthy Pencey graduate who made a fortune in the discount funeral home business and whom Holdens dorm was named after Ossenburger started these undertaking
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