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Since Ancient Times Many Lessons

Categories: Time

Since ancient times, many lessons about honesty, loyalty, or transparency have been passed down through generations. Ancestors always educating descendants to live genuinely and keep themselves staying away from histrionics. But whether these morals can be comprehensively absorbed. The exact answer is definitely “NO”. Until the 1950s and even these days, sophisticated communication is being used very popularly by most people in society to hide their real emotions or thinking for variety of reasons. Specifically, we all see this kind of communication in the novel “The Catcher in The Rye” by the verbalization of the main character as well the narrator – Holden Caulfield.

Holden always trying to be unique, describing everyone around him is deceitful and the society which he was living is full of “phony”. The word “phony” appeared about thirty-five times in the novel (Sara O.). By verifying through the novel, Holden uses the word “phony” to criticize people around him who are hypocritical, fascinated with money and power and the ones whom he has prejudice against.

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Paradoxically, the protagonist is also one of the biggest phoninesses in the novel.

The root cause of hypocrisy – the dangerous lifestyle – is human nature. Nobody wants to wash their dirty linen in public, everyone wants to show good faces and hide dark sides. Anyone may make mistakes but few are willing to admit and face their mistakes. Many people choose to wear a mask to paint their feelings of love and sympathy, making everyone feel closed. But no one expected under that mask was a disfigured face with jealousy and envy.

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In the past, encouraging, praising each other was very normal and extremely appreciated. But today, too much praise has become flattering to enlist sentiment, seeking benefits such as fortune, reputation or promotion. Specifically, in the novel, when Mr. Spencer was being observed in a class by headmaster Thurmer, Spencer laughed at Thurmer’s corny jokes. Holden’s being especially critical here, as laughing at the boss’s jokes is a means of survival for almost worker. Material appreciation as well as flatter and self-interest create conditions for hypocrisy to increase in society. Holden Caulfield becomes frustrated with those who do not act with their real face, Mr. Hass is the specific one. “Ten times worse than old Thurmer. On Sundays, for instance, old Hass went around shaking hands with everybody’s parents when they drove up to school. He’d be charming as hell and all. Except if some boy had little old funny-looking parents· Then old Hass would just shake hands with them and give them a phony smile and then he’d go to talk, for maybe a half an hour, with somebody else’s parents.” (Salinger, 14). Holden cannot stand those people who behave like old Hass, pretending to be kind, friendly with everyone while his true nature was contemptuous of the poor and the rich sycophantic.

Holden seems to be more mature than his children who are at the same age as him, about thinking and being aware of the downside of society. He tries to be special one and separated from a bunch of “phoniness” around him whom he usually calls “moron” or “bastard”. “The biggest reason I left Elkton Hills was because I was surrounded by phonies” (Salinger, 13). This exemplifies that Holden loathes those who are phony, yet he finds this flaw in many of those he meets. He is quick to judge people on how they appear, believing that they are nothing more than what he first assumes, so when faced with the realization that this is not the case Holden thinks that they are frauds. The root of this behavior is a feeling that he does not fit into society, ultimately causing his isolation. Holden isn’t aware of his problem, it is he doesn’t want to grow up. He dislikes adults because he thinks the adult world is phony. Consequently, he doesn’t want to be an adult and sees everything that is wrong with adults and there is plenty.

The novel demonstrates that individuals may relate money to negative characteristics, which reveals that they may truly fear factors associated with money, such as change and adulthood. The protagonist, Holden Caulfield, believes that phoniness is directly connected to money – a negative characteristic – which is just another way for him to avoid maturity. This is demonstrated when he claims, “All those Ivy League bastards look like. My father want me to go to Yale, or maybe Princeton, but I swear I wouldn’t go to one of those Ivy League colleges, if I was dying, for God’s sake.” (85) Holden tries to convince himself that these individuals are fake and that they need money to meet their obligations. Although, ironically Holden’s family is wealthy, but he genuinely fears the outcomes of schooling. He prefers to feel the safe comforts of childhood and wholly avoids the change of becoming an adult and upholding responsibilities. “Why not be fascinated with money and wealth? I’m surprised anybody really needs to ask.” (Paul Richard). Holden’s brother D.B. was once an original writer, but Holden considers him a phony since he has gone to Hollywood, where he is “being a prostitute.” That is, he has sacrificed his artistic talents for writing screenplays. Gradually life becomes expensive, people also need to pay for their lives and money is also becoming more important than ever.

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Since Ancient Times Many Lessons. (2019, Dec 04). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/since-ancient-times-many-lessons-about-honesty-loyalty-or-example-essay

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