In Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, what is an example of Holden being hypocritical in chapters 12-13? 

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Hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing another or condemning others for flaws you share with them. A hypocrite piously condemns kicking dogs and then goes home and kicks his dog.

Holden is angry, alienated, depressed, and not at his best during these two chapters. Overall, however, Holden has a strain of honesty that keeps him from being a total hypocrite. Often when he behaves as a hypocrite, he is at least well aware of what he is doing.

However, he seems unconscious of how much he is like the people he sees in the nightclub Ernie's:

Mostly with prep school jerks and college jerks.

As Holden is himself a "prep school jerk," it is hypocritical of him to condemn the other Ernie's patrons for sharing his own perceived flaw.

Holden, as he well understands, is a hypocrite when he is polite and says he's glad to see or meet people he hates. At Ernie's, he runs into his friend Lillian with a Navy "guy" he loathes for being a macho man. Holden says:

The Navy guy and I told each other we were glad...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 933 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on January 15, 2020
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