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Phoniness is the dominating theme in The Catcher in the Rye Holden uses this word to describe everything that goes on around him In Chapter 22 Holden talks about how adults are phonies and worse yet they cannot see their own phoniness Holden makes sure the readers know that he is a compulsive liar and his lies are usually without reason also they have the tendency to be cruel As an example of his phoniness he notes that one of his roommates was a brilliant whistler saying Naturally I never told him that he was a terrific whistler I mean you dont just go up to somebody and say Youre a terrific whistler When Holden says things of this nature he is sinking to the level of phoniness of everyone else around him The title itself The Catcher in the Rye first appears in Chapter 16 when a child that Holden admires for walking in the street instead of on the sidewalk is singing a song Comin Thro the Rye In Chapter 22 Phoebe and Holden are talking about what he wants to do with his life and replies with his image of a catcher in the rye He talks about how he would like to catch the children who are innocent in the rye from going over the cliff which leads into knowledge and inevitably death What I have to do I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff- I mean if theyre running and they dont look where theyre going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them Thats all Id do all day Id just be in the catcher in the rye and all Holden Chapter 22 He is also always placing labels upon people as being phonies which gives the reader the idea that Holden thinks that others are materialistic Holdens attempts to
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