The Catcher in the Rye: Themes and Symbols

The theme that the world has an outward appearance that seems fair and perfect
but really they\'re as Holden put it "phonies." This is shown countless amount of
times in his journey through New York and even before he left. The setting is in
the 1950\'s; so I\'m pretty sure that he didn\'t encounter any transvestites,
lesbians, or anything that extreme of phoniest. Or on the other hand he could
have liked them for being as Elmemson said a "none conformist." But I doubt it,
he seemed to like kids more than anything. And his job, as he felt, was to
protect them in their innocents; of which I will talk about in my second theme.

The first example that stands out in my mind is the scene with Stradlater in the
"can." If you remember Stradlater was getting ready for his other date while
Holden watched him. "Stradlater was a secret slob" in public he always looked
good and got all the girls but in fact he was a slob. His razor that made him
look so good was "rusty as hell and full on lather and hair and crap." This
proves that he is a slob to "never clean it or anything." If you think about it
that\'s even worst than Old Ackley. At least Ackley knew that he had a problem,
that he need to do something about his face; but Stradlater thought that he was
a great guy. He actually thought that there was nothing wrong with never washing
his razor. I think that what mad, Holden so made Stradlater was perpetrating in
other word being "phony" every time he went out all GQ after using that filthy
razor. Another instance is when he calls that girl in New York, Faith Cavendish,
that Eddie Birdsell had brought to a dance at Princeton. Anyway he called her
and she almost went off until Holden drooped Eddie\'s name. Then all of a sudden
"she was getting friendly as hell." The same person said "if you think I enjoy
bein\' woke up in the middle-" was "getting an english accent all of a sudden." I
think Holden caught her with her faÿade down. When she first picked up the phone
she was mad as anybody else would be in her shoes. But as soon as she processed
"Eddie Birdsell from Princeton" she became so amicable. She most of thought that
a friend of Eddie, from Princeton, most have been rich or at lest well off.
Faith was all ready to hook up with him for a date until she asked "Where ya
callin\' from? Where ya at now, anyways?" And "in a phone booth" was the wrong
answer. When he said that she new he had no money and from that point on she had
no time to meet up any more. This is a good example of the phoniest that Holden
will talk about all through book.

Oh and one I almost missed it is a little before the conversation with Faith it
is a very important event. When J.D. Salinger had Holden look about of the
window I think it was a big simile, of which I think about more in theme number
3, of the theme of the book. I\'m sure Holden didn\'t ride all the way to New York
to pick a run down hotel. So I take it when he drove up it probably looked good
on the outside. He even "took it off [referring to the red hunting hat] before I
checked inI didn\'t want to look like a screwball or something." So we can assume
it was nice, or at lest on the outside. Salinger even throw Holden foreshadowed
a little in the line "I didn\'t know then that the goddam hotel was full of
perverts and morons." The first guy he saw out his room window "took out all
these women\'s clothes, and put them on." Then he started walking around like a
women, smoking a cigarette, and looking in the mirror. And now I guest I have to
take back my sentence about transvestites in the opening paragraph. Second he
saw a couple squiring water and "they were in hysterics the whole time," a
little strange. You see the outside of the hotel represents what society is or
tries to be, all nice and neat. And the people acting silly in the rooms are
what we a really like. Im not saying we are all perverts but