From the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, the youthful protagonist Holden Caufield, employs the word â€œphonyâ€ to describe the behavior of a number of characters including Mr. Spencer and Ossenburger, however it is not them who areâ€œphonyâ€, it is the young main character. First, Mr. Spencer, Holdenâ€™s ex- history teacher, is not described as phony, but according to the adolescent, his choice of words are. Secondly, according to our main character, Ossenburger is not the generous philanthropist he portrays himself to be, but rather a greedy undertaker. Lastly, the protagonist could quite possibly be the authentic phony. All in all, the main characterâ€™s use to describe many other characters in the book is with the single word phony, when in fact the word phony would be the most probable word to describe the lead character.
Illustrating Mr. Spencer as phony because of his vocabulary, is when Holden leaves Pencey Prep permanently, and goes to say good-bye to the ex-history teacher. The depicted fake tells the ex-Pencey student â€œI had the privilege of meeting your mother and dad when they had their little chat with Dr. Thurmer some weeks ago. Theyâ€™re grand peopleâ€. The ex-Pencey student immediately impugns Mr. Spencerâ€™s use of the word â€œgrandâ€, and tells the reader: â€œGrand. Thereâ€™s a word I hate. Itâ€™s a phony. I could puke every time I heard it.â€ To sum up, Holden disgusts Mr. Spencerâ€™s utilization of the word â€œgrandâ€ and thinks it is fraudulent.
Also, Caufield, describes Ossenbuger as phony because of what Holden perceived he did for a living. The wing where the central character lived at Pencey was called the â€œOssenbuger Memorial Wingâ€ named after a men who went to Pencey and later donated a substantial amount of money to the school. Ossenburger makes this income by the â€œbusiness of undertakingâ€. Next, according to our youthful character, Ossenburger is phony because â€œhe probably just shoves the dead bodies in a bag and throws them in the riverâ€. As a result, Caufield feels that Ossenburger is phony because of his profession in undertaking.
While observing the discription of many other characters in the novel as phony, it is safe to say that the phony character is indeed the protagonist. For example, the false character when lying to Mr. Spencer about going to the gym to clear everything out before leaving, is Holden. Once again we see this falsehood, when he tries to hit on some women in a bar, despite thinking the girls are not particularly extraordinary women.
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