There are many different ways to see something and everyone has a different way of perceiving things as real or fake. There are many different ways of looking at something and every single person has a right to look at things in their own unique way. Holder had a way of looking at things very differently as well. The phrase “Everyone is innocent until proven guilty’ was not something that Holder went by. His thought of way or the phrase that Holder went by was “Everyone is a phony until proven otherwise” which was a very bad way of looking at things.
His personality was more of a cynical type because Holder didn’t always look at things as the glass is half full type. In the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Slinger, the protagonist Holder Coalfield is really unable to accept people for what they are and for those that he cant accept, he marks them as phonies and whomever he doesn’t think is pure or true is a phony as well. Holder has different things that classify people as phony and one of the many things is that he believes all hypocrites are phonies. A person that he claims is a phony due to hypocrisy would be Johannesburg.
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Holder starts with what Johannesburg has to do with him and he explains that Johannesburg used to be a student at Pence and after graduating he had become a biggish through his business. What his business was that “he started these undertaking parlors all over the country that you could get members of your family buried for five bucks apiece” (16). At first it seems that Holder is impartial to what Johannesburg does and doesn’t care how he makes his money. It seems as if Holder could be saying that Johannesburg is a kind soul for giving cheap burial services to those grieving families of those innocent people.
But he later says that “he probably Just shoves them in a sack and dumps them in the river” (16). By saying this, it is easily shown that Holder is criticizing the methods of work that Johannesburg partakes even though he doesn’t know him and doesn’t know anything about him and who Johannesburg really is as a person. This assumption of Johannesburg Just dumping the bodies, shows that Holder believes that he has no morals and is a cheap person. He believes that Johannesburg is stealing from the poor people who are grieving over a loss.
So Holders current view of Johannesburg is not the est. because he believes that he is a selfish man who has no thought. What really got to Holder was when Johannesburg said that “when he was in some kind of trouble or something,” he would “get right down on his knees and pray to god. He told us we should always pray to God–talk to Him and all– wherever we were. He told us we ought to think of Jesus as our buddy and all” (16-17). What Holder thought that Johannesburg was saying was that everyone should pray devoutly and be truthful and also that they should have integrity.
After this is done, Holder then realizes that Johannesburg is a real gig hypocrite because on one side, he is telling the students to be truthful, have integrity, and also pray devoutly but then on the other hand he is stealing from grieving people who have done nothing wrong. He is very hypocritical and Holder can see through his cover. Or it could be that Johannesburg in reality is a good man who in fact does not toss bodies into the river and steals from the grieving people. In fact Johannesburg could be burying the dead people into the ground for cheap because he has some connections but Holder would not know.
Holder could Just be making these accusations and assumptions to cover up the fact that Johannesburg really was an honest and truthful man who helped people bury the dead for cheap and an affordable cost. Another thing that Holder classifies as phoniness could be that people who think that they are better than other are infant phonies. An example of people who think that they are better than others would be Mr.. Has, who was a headmaster at Election Hills which was another school that had expelled Holder. He says that on “Sundays, for instance, old Has went around shaking hands tit 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” (14). Mr.. Has didn’t necessarily think that he was better than others but Holder believed that he thought that people who weren’t perfect looking, didn’t deserve his most respect. If Mr.. Has was going around shaking hands and talking to the parents of the kids that attended his school, he should not have looked as if he didn’t like people that weren’t perfect. Holder then says that “you should’ve seen the way he did with my roommate’s parents” (14).
By saying this, he is implying that this roommate’s parents were interacted with inappropriately meaning he did not converse with them and did not act the nicest towards them. By saying this, Holder is providing an example of Mr.. Has being unkind and differentiating the parents of the students which implies that the child’s parents were not good enough for him. What he did was “shake hands with them and give them a phony smile and then he’d go talk, maybe a half an hour, with somebody else’s parents” (14). He is giving proof of his claim which was saying that Mr.. Has was a phony and that is why.
In reality, the proof that he is providing could Just have been with the parent’s of his roommate and not anyone else. Holder is truly unable to accept anyone for who they are and is using phoniness as a cover. It could be that Mr.. Has had an altercation or an argument with the parents of his roommates and Holder only saw that he would ignore those parents and so he made his assumptions based off of that which does change the way one would look at things. Another way Holder classifies someone as a phony is when he is Jealous of mom people like when Sally Hayes meets George outside right after the play.
She “always knew somebody, any place you took her, or thought she did. She kept saying that till I got bored as hell, and I said to her, Why don’t you go on over and give a big soul kiss, if you know him? He’ll enjoy it” (127). The way Holder is talking and is behaving, it can be seen that Holder is obviously jealous of the fact that she knows so many people. He feels that someone else will take her away and his only response to that would obviously be that to blame or accuse them of being phony. Then when he talks about their inversion and says “it was the phoniest conversation you ever heard in your life” (127).
That really sounds like a person who is seriously Jealous that Sally is talking to someone else. He is hating the fact that George and Sally are connecting over some simple and small topics like places and people. He then went on and kept insulting George but not out loud which showed jealousy. He uses phoniness as a cover to to mask his Jealousy. Holder is truly unable to accept people for as they seem like in this situation with George and Sally. While George is talking to Sally as a kind person, Holder is hinging up things to explain why he thinks George and Sally are phonies.
In reality, Holder is actually refusing to accept that George and Sally are Just friends who happened to not interact with each other after a long time and are now reconnecting their friendships. Holder first says that they have probably only met once before and is Just making assumptions to call them phony as he does with everyone. He really can not accept people for who they are and actually uses phoniness to cover up that one fact. There may in fact be people in the world who are phony, but the way Holder classifies people is not right and incorrect.
He believes that most, if not all, people are phonies and this view of things is not true. In reality, Holder actually uses Phoniness to cover for the fact that he cant see people for who they truly are like with Mr.. Has and how he only saw him behave badly towards his roommates parents, and how he thinks Johannesburg is a hypocrite but in truth could be a true man or how Jealousy made him classify Sally and George as phonies. His claims of phoniness are Just covers so that he doesn’t have to see people for who they truly are.