The theme that the world has an outward appearance that seems fair and perfect but really they’re as Holden put it “phonies.” This is shown countless amount of times in his journey through New York and even before he left. The setting is in the 1950’s; so I’m pretty sure that he didn’t encounter any transvestites, lesbians, or anything that extreme of phoniest. Or on the other hand he could have liked them for being as Elmemson said a “none conformist.” But I doubt it, he seemed to like kids more than anything. And his job, as he felt, was to protect them in their innocents; of which I will talk about in my second theme. The first example that stands out in my mind is the scene with Stradlater in the “can.” If you remember Stradlater was getting ready for his other date while Holden watched him.
“Stradlater was a secret slob” in public he always looked good and got all the girls but in fact he was a slob. His razor that made him look so good was “rusty as hell and full on lather and hair and crap.” This proves that he is a slob to “never clean it or anything.” If you think about it that’s even worst than Old Ackley. At least Ackley knew that he had a problem, that he need to do something about his face; but Stradlater thought that he was a great guy. He actually thought that there was nothing wrong with never washing his razor. I think that what mad, Holden so made Stradlater was perpetrating in other word being “phony” every time he went out all GQ after using that filthy razor. Another instance is when he calls that girl in New York, Faith Cavendish, that Eddie Birdsell had brought to a dance at Princeton.
Anyway he called her and she almost went off until Holden drooped Eddie’s name. Then all of a sudden “she was getting friendly as hell.” The same person said “if you think I enjoy bein’ woke up in the middle-” was “getting an english accent all of a sudden.” I think Holden caught her with her faade down. When she first picked up the phone she was mad as anybody else would be in her shoes. But as soon as she processed “Eddie Birdsell from Princeton” she became so amicable. She most of thought that a friend of Eddie, from Princeton, most have been rich or at lest well off.
Faith was all ready to hook up with him for a date until she asked “Where ya callin’ from? Where ya at now, anyways?” And “in a phone booth” was the wrong answer. When he said that she new he had no money and from that point on she had no time to meet up any more. This is a good example of the phoniest that Holden will talk about all through book. Oh and one I almost missed it is a little before the conversation with Faith it is a very important event. When J.D.
Salinger had Holden look about of the window I think it was a big simile, of which I think about more in theme number 3, of the theme of the book. I’m sure Holden didn’t ride all the way to New York to pick a run down hotel. So I take it when he drove up it probably looked good on the outside. He even “took it off [referring to the red hunting hat] before I checked inI didn’t want to look like a screwball or something.” So we can assume it was nice, or at lest on the outside. Salinger even throw Holden foreshadowed a little in the line “I didn’t know then that the goddam hotel was full of perverts and morons.” The first guy he saw out his room window “took out all these women’s clothes, and put them on.” Then he started walking around like a women, smoking a cigarette, and looking in the mirror. And now I guest I have to take back my sentence about transvestites in the opening paragraph.
Second he saw a couple squiring water and “they were in hysterics the whole time,” a little strange. You see the outside of the hotel represents what society is or tries to be, all nice and neat. And the people acting silly in the rooms are what we a really like. Im not saying we are all perverts but we all have two different personalities; one outside and one inside closed doors. Since I’m will into the second page and it’s past my bed time or at lest it feels like it is this is the last one for this theme.
The one I had in mind is the one the date he had with Sally. From the jump she was phony. Holden had already talked to her dad and told him how it was, but she still asked how it was. Holden when call her “quite a little phony,” she even sounded phony through the book with lines like “I’d love to grand.” And when they got through with the play on the Lunts it didn’t get any better. They ran into this guy that Sally knew and both of their phoniest began to shine. “You’ve though that they hadn’t seen each other for twenty years” they probably even hugged and kissed checks and all.
And the funny thing is that “they probably met each other only once.” And from that point on they went on a quest to outname the other. “They both kept thinking of places as fast as they could” trying to get the upper-hand in a game of illusion. They both were trying to, I guest, show they are more popular than the other by making it seem like they known all these places and people, when in actuality they were two big phonies. The next Theme of this story that I want to talk about is the significance of the novel’s title. First of all I have to say why the book was entitle as it was “The Catcher in the Rye.” The title of the book is a mystery all the way until chapter 21 when he sneaked back home to see Phoebe.
When Phoebe fronted him about getting kicked out of school again saying “you don’t like anything” Holden was forced to come up with something he would enjoy to be or do. After minutes of pondering Holden said “I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.” He just wanted to save the little innocent kids from falling. The kids I think represent the innocents of the youn …