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Word Count: 522
Holden Caulfield is driven by jealousy His inability to be a ladies man or an academic success causes him to label these types of people as being phony in order to overcome his own insecurities and faults The word phony is correctly applied in some cases throughout Catcher in the Rye but is mostly used incorrectly when Holden is making reference to someone he has come in contact with This paper will discuss the way in which phony is used by Holden throughout Catcher and how it applies to different characters Usually Holden labels these characters in some cases only having met them once or twice based upon a conversation or the way in which the person carries their self He does this instinctively due to his past in order to make him feel better about himself His failures cause him to label people that he feels are better than him in order to satisfy himself Holdens main reason for liking Selma Thurmer is that she does not brag about what a great guy her father the headmaster at Pency is Holden states she probably knew what a phony slob he was p 3 He makes this allegation before telling us that he has been kicked out of Pency by Thurmer because he failed four classes Even though Holdens dismissal is entirely his fault you can sense a disliking towards Thurmer because he has prohibited him from coming back which explains why Holden would label Thurmer as a phony On the contrary Holdens encounter with Lillian Simmons a former girlfriend of his older brother DB is one of the instances in Catcher where the use of the word phony is correctly applied How marvelous to see you Said Lillian Simmons Strictly a phony p 86 It is obvious that Lillian is only saying hello in order to find out about DB She makes a big deal about DB being in Hollywood
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