Who does Holden dislike in The Catcher in the Rye?

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Here's a list of Holden's phonies, those who are materialistic, hypocritical, and otherwise dishonest:


A. “Phonies”

1. Glad-handing adults (headmaster)

2. Over-sexed teens (Stradlater)

3. Pretentious snobs (Luce)

4. Celebrity-obsessed girls (in Lavender room)

5. Materialistic artists (D.B.)

By contrast, here's a list of the non-phonies

B.  Non-Phonies:

1. All kids are non-phonies: Allie, Pheobe

2. Nuns are non-phonies: talked about Romeo & Juliet

3. Biggest non-phony: James Castle--fell to his death rather than take back “conceited”

4. Mercutio from Romeo & Juliet.  Hated false pretense, puppy love

a. J. C. (“Jesus Christ”): is Castle Holden’s martyred saint?

b. Antolini carried Castle’s body; protected him from rubber-necks

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Holden mentions consistently throughout the story that what he hates the most, in general, is (quote) "phony people". On that list many will fall such as girls, jocks, his older brother, among others.

Holden's anger cannot be pinned down to a list of specific people he dislikes. His therapeutic relief stems from placing blame on other's for getting on with their lives whether they are good or not. Phonyness is what he hates first and foremost.

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The Catcher in the Rye

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