People may not be what they appear to seem like. For Holden Caulfield from the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, he calls these people phonies. Holden despise people who try to act like someone in which they are not. He encounters numerous amounts of phonies in his journey throughout New York City and even before he left the boarding school, Pencey Prep. Many characters in the novel share this common theme of phoniness.
Holden sees Mr. Spencer, his past history teacher to be a ‘phony’ person. Mr. Spencer was one of Holden’s favourite teachers in Pencey Prep. Before Holden leaves the school, he goes to his house for a goodbye visit. Mr. Spencer teaches Holden “life is a game that one plays according to the rules.” (Salinger 8) By saying so, he wishes that Holden understands that if he does not play by the rules, he will not be
Probably not realizing this fact at first, but Holden is also considered by many to be a "phony"tm. Spencer is one of the "phony"tm teachers at Pencey Prep, " "Even the couple of nice teachers on the faculty, they were phonies, too,"tm I Holden said. " (Salinger 16) According to Holden, anyone who pretends to be something he or she is not is a "phony"tm. The razor that he uses to appear to look good was in fact "rusty as hell and full of lather and hairs and crap" (Salinger 27) as Holden describes it. Holden describes himself as, "the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. Even the great critique Holden is classified by many as being a "phony"tm person. But Holden tells Phoebe, his little sister, that Mr. Although Holden criticizes everyone to be a "phony"tm, he, himself is also a "phony"tm as well. Spencer is a nice teacher, he also believes that he is a "phony"tm. As human beings, no one is perfect and will lie and become classified as a phony sooner or later. This proves that Stradlater was not what he appears to be, and as Holden puts it, he is a "phony"tm. If that is true, then Holden is also a "phony"tm because he pretends to be somethingsomeone whom he is not through lying.