Hypocrisy in The Catcher In Th

January 16, 2017 General Studies

Salinger tells a story of a young man named .

Holden Caulfield and the experiences he faces after being dismissed from school. On his .

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trip, he meets many different people all of whom he viciously criticizes and complains .

about adult evils. Holden Caulfield consistently condemns adult corruption and the .

“phoniness” in people, but he consistently contradicts himself and therefore is a phony .

and a hypocrite. This can all be proven in the book, by misrepresenting himself to others, .

his self contradictory actions and his own behaviour at certain places. .

Holden is a hypocrite because he enjoys things that he strongly criticizes. Early on .

in the story he says that he hates “movies like prison” (29), but he goes to the movies .

anyway. When he is with Sally he buys tickets to see the Lunts, even though earlier he .

said that he didn’t even like the Lunts; he even admits that “the show wasn’t as bad as .

some I’ve seen” (125) after it was over. Another example of his hypocrisy is evident .

when he criticizes his school, Pencey Prep, but then later praises it for having a good .

academic rating. Clear confirmation that Holden is a phony.

When meeting new people Holden is never honest about anything he discusses. .

For instance, while on the train back to NY, he struck up a conversation with Mrs. .

Morrow and introduced himself as a Rudolf Schmidt. They began to talk and then Holden .

(or Rudolf) explained to her that he was going home early because he had an operation .

for a tiny tumor in his brain. This incident is further, revolting evidence of Holden’s .


His behaviour can also be seen as an instance of him being two-faced. Once in his .

room at the Edmont Hotel, Holden quickly becomes a voyeur to the activities of others in .

the hotel. He detests the hotel (which he chose himself) because it “was lousy with .

perverts” (62), yet HE is the one who observes a male transvestite strut around in a .

nearby apartment.


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