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The Phony World
Transcript of The Phony World
Michael Silverglade, Michael Steimer, Tommy Duffy, Sara Adam, James Pierre, Cameron Baker, and Arianna Howells
Definition of Phony
Phony is defined as either:
adj. being disingenuous or fraudulent
n. someone who is disingenuous or fraudulent
Holden has a tendency to view the world as full of people that are pretending to be something or someone that they aren't. This prejudice severely hinders Holden's ability to interact with the world.
Holden uses 'Phony' in the book
2- What I liked about her, she didn't give you a lot of horse manure about what a great guy her father was. She probably knew what a phony slob he was.
9- Grand. There's a word I really hate. It's a phony. I could puke every time I hear it.
13- One of the biggest reasons I left Elkton Hills was because I was surrounded by phonies. That's all. They were coming in the goddam window. For instance, they had this headmaster, Mr. Haas, that was the phoniest bastard I ever met in my life.
14- Haas would just shake hands with them and give them a phony smile and then he'd go talk, for maybe a half an hour, with somebody else's parents.
17- He said he talked to Jesus all the time. Even when he was driving his car. That killed me. I just see the big phony bastard shifting into first gear and asking Jesus to send him a few more stiffs.
26- He was at least a pretty friendly guy, Stradlater. It was partly a phony kind of friendly, but at least he always said hello to Ackley and all.
50- I stopped on the way, though, and picked up Ackley's hand, and gave him a big, phony handshake. He pulled it away from me. "What's the idea?" he said.
53- You know. One of those stories with a lot of phony, lean-jawed guys named David in it, and a lot of phony girls named Linda or Marcia that are always lighting all the goddam Davids' pipes for them.
59- --she'd written me this long, phony letter, inviting me over to help her trim the Christmas tree Christmas Eve and all—
63- I spent the whole night necking with a terrible phony named Anne Louise Sherman. Sex is something I just don't understand. I swear to God I don't.
65- I laughed. "Thank you for the compliment," I said-- suave as hell. "Holden Caulfield's my name." I should've given her a phony name, but I didn't think of it.
77- I figured that anybody that hates the movies as much as I do, I'd be a phony if I let them stick me in a movie short.
84- Anyway, when he was finished, and everybody was clapping their heads off, old Ernie turned around on his stool and gave this very phony, humble bow. Like as if he was a helluva humble guy, besides being a terrific piano player. It was very phony--I mean him being such a big snob and all.
Do you think there is a difference between filtering what you say and being a phony?
Does Holden simply assume everything is phony, or does he provide evidence for his claims?
The Phony World
Note that Holden never says 'Phony' out loud
"Grand. There's a word i really hate. It's a phony. I could puke every time i hear it." (9)
Conclusion- Holden also hates some words like grand because he thinks its phony.
Elaborations on Phoniness
Holden is uninformed of many social rituals and customs and this leads to his naive views and opinions about formalities that he often labels "phony".
Holden isn't able to interact with the world fully and thus isn't living a very fulfilling lifestyle; if Holden outgrows his unhealthy views, his quality of life will improve and the book might have an almost half-decent main character.
"I figured that anybody that hates the movies as much as i do, I'd be a phony if i let them stick me in a movie short." (77)
Conclusion- Holden thinks that if he were to be in a movie he would be phony because he resents movies so much.
"Haas would just shake hands with them and give them a phony smile and then he'd go talk, for maybe a half an hour, with somebody else parents." (14)
Conclusion- Holden believes Haas is phony because he gives a hand shake and a fake smile to people who are not up to his standards.
"[Sally] was quite a little phony, I'd already told her father who it was." (106)
conclusion- Holden calls Sally a phony when she asks who was on the other end of the phone. This shows that he does not fully respect her.
"The part that got me was, there was a lady sitting next to me that cried through the goddam picture. The phonier it got, the more she cried."
Conclusion- Holden judges the woman for her emotional outburst, because he thinks the movie is phony.