In The Catcher in the Rye, how is Holden being a hypocrite? What are some things he says that make him one?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Despite the fact that Holden labels nearly everyone he meets a "phony," he is one of the foremost hypocrites in the story and continually contradicts himself. For example, Holden continually criticizes the American entertainment industry yet pretends that he is an actor several times, alludes to various movies, and even takes Sally Hayes to a show. Holden is continually criticizing adults for pretending to be people they are not in order to manipulate others but tells Mrs. Morrow that his name is Rudolf Schmidt and the girls he meets at the Lavender Room that his name is Jim Steele.

Holden also tells the reader that he looks much older than he really is and is constantly mistaken as an older man because of his gray hair. However, Holden finds it difficult to purchase an alcoholic drink and the girls at the Lavender Room make fun of him for being so young. Holden also refers to himself as "quite sexy" but is an inexperienced virgin who refuses to engage in intercourse with a willing...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 806 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team