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Word Count: 601
One of the many fascinating themes in the novel The Catcher in the Rye brings us face to face with a jarring assault not unlike road rage on modern society and serves as a wake up call to each succeeding generation of its readers JD Salinger speaking through the protagonist Holden Caulfield exposes the bogus standards and false values and the insensitive sham relationships we face in our pretentious modern society Alone Holden stands tall against those counterfeit standards and the flagrant hypocrisy that surrounds us in the most casual and innocuous of lifes endeavorsa simple conversation and all from a quixotic yet desultory view of society It is almost ironic that we learn this from the first person point of view Salinger popularized the interior monologue in this novel This approach helps us to understand Holden observing a society he cannot accept forever the outsider desperately clinging to the garish ostentatious red hunting cap that is emblematic of a childish security blanket or a badge of honor What is a phony Websters Collegiate defines it as someone or something that is fraudulent or spurious When Holden uses the word corny he means fake or artificial as in a false character or appearance Holden sincerely believes that society in general claims an appearance of importance not justified by the things value or the persons standing Holden seems obsessed with the concept since he uses it on pages 52 77 84 86 100 142 151 172 and 205 In Chapter One Holden describes Penceys ad campaign as strictly for the birds He tells Spencer that he was surrounded by phonies in an earlier prep school Even the headmaster discriminated against funny-looking parents on visiting day Holden labels teachers and administrators phonies because they are less than perfect He even dismisses his brother D B as a phony for selling out to Hollywood He criticizes the disciples for being human
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