By labeling people phony, Holden is indicating that they are selfish, dishonest people who are primarily concerned with attaining wealth, improving their reputation, or advancing their social status.
Overall, anyone who is insincere, is fake, or has ulterior motives is a phony in Holden's opinion.
Our certified Educators are real professors, teachers, and scholars who use their academic expertise to tackle your toughest questions.
Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team.
Holden is essentially a walking contradiction and, thus, is the epitome of a phony throughout the novel.
, Holden denounces materialists--the rich, snobby prep-school types like Stadlater, Ernie Morrow, and the headmaster.Another example of Holden's phony behavior takes place on his date with Sally Hayes.Holden continually ridicules Sally for being superficial and shallow, yet tells Sally that he loves her and asks her to move to the country with him.So, he is a self-aware phony even though he does not explicitly denounce his own actions.Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team. According to the standard meaning of the word a phony is someone who is fake.Morrow on the train in the guise of Rudolf Schmidt, the school janitor.But Holden is too immature, too lacking in self-awareness, to realize the irony in all of this.When it comes to money, Holden is a bit of a hypocrite.Sure, he gives money to the nuns, but he also blows through it to go on his runaway adventure, staying in hotels, paying for cab fare, buying drinks in nightclubs.But in Holden's vocabulary, the word "phony" comes to be used indiscriminately to describe anyone he doesn't like. This makes him rebel instinctively against anything that smacks of convention or outward conformity to rules and standards.Fellow students, teachers, actors, the people he sees at the cinema—none of them are true individuals in Holden's eyes; they've all been defined by other people's rules, standards, and expectations. Holden doesn't see himself that way, though of course he does ironically enough behave like a phony himself when he spins a web of outrageous lies to Mrs.