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In J. D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, we are introduced to an intriguing character named Holden Caulfield. In this novel, Holden summarizes what happens to him in the past over a period of three days, starting from when he is in Pencey Prep, an expensive boarding school in Agerstown, Pennsylvania. During this time, Holden goes through many internal hardships and problems, mainly focusing on his view of society and people around him, acting “phony”. This feeling could be explained by one of the existential themes: Authenticity. Authenticity is wanting you or someone else to live a life that is unique to one’s inner self, and as an individual, while not blindly following and behaving like what society and other people believe.  Holden has very strong feelings towards being authentic, and hates it when people aren’t sincere and honest with themselves, just for wealth, recognition, or renown.  Some examples of characters that Holden think are not authentic is his older brother DB, Holden’s aunt and Sally’s mother Mrs. Hayes, and Ernie. The reason why Holden is so criticizing is because he is currently going through an existential crisis. He has reached a point in his life where he has to mature, but rejects this idea; wanting to stay innocent, since he is scared that he might turn out a phony and become hypocritical. He deeply values the idea of being true to your own thoughts, beliefs, and actions, and because of this, in his eyes, the only way to avoid becoming a phony is to criticize the people that he does not want to turn out like. Firstly, we are introduced to some characters in the beginning of the novel. One of the characters is Holden’s older brother, DB.  DB is a writer currently working in Hollywood, writing some movie about Annapolis, starring a very renown actor.  Although most people would be astonished and proud for DB to become so successful, Holden thinks the opposite. He says: “Now he’s out in Hollywood, D.B.,being a prostitute. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the movies. Don’t even mention them to me.” (4)   Holden assumes that instead of writing for the joy of it, D.B solely does it for the money. Just like a prostitute, D.B is doing anything for money, even if it means going against his own principles and morals. This can be proved by the quote on page 1, where he says: “He just got a Jaguar. One of those little English jobs that can do around two hundred miles an hour. It cost him damn near four thousand bucks. He’s got a lot of dough, now. He didn’t use to.” (1) It is evident that Holden is not happy about D.B making so much money, especially from something Holden despises. Holden used to have respect for D.B, but now he just associates him with every other phony that Holden knows.

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