In J. D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the

In J. D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, we are introduced to an intriguing character named Holden Caulfield. In this narrative, 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 dilemmas, 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 holds strong feelings towards being authentic, and hates it when people aren’t sincere and honest with themselves, just for wealth, recognition, or renown.  Examples of being not true to yourself according to Holden are: selling out, being two faced in public, and boasting or showing off to gain acknowledgement and acceptance from other people. Holden is very criticizing and calls everyone a phony because he is currently going through an existential crisis and is scared that he, himself might turn phony and become a hypocrite. He deeply values the idea of being genuine to your own thoughts, and in his eyes the only way to avoid becoming phony is to criticize the people that he does not want to turn out like. To begin with, we are introduced to some characters in the beginning of the novel. One of the characters is Holden’s older brother, D.B.  D.B 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 D.B to become so successful, Holden thinks he sold out. 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” (Salinger 4).  Holden assumes that instead of writing for the joy of it, D.B does it solely for the compensation, and just like the stereotype of a prostitute, he thinks D.B is going against his own principles and morals in order to make money.  It is clear that he is not happy about D.B making so much, especially from a source that Holden despises. “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” (3). It is important to notice the word “use” being italicized. Holden implies he liked D.B much more when he wasn’t rich. Holden had respect for D.B in the past when he made creative short stories, but now he associates him with every other phony that Holden knows. Since Holden believes that D.B was once like him, he is scared that when he grows up he might go down the same path that D.B did.  Due to the fact that Holden is going through an existential crisis, Holden doesn’t want to end up like D.B, and is trying to still find his authentic self. Liedtka states on page 238, “In this view, the search for one’s authentic self is an important part of the transition from adolescence to adulthood and is linked to psychological benefits in the form of heightened self-esteem, positive affect, and hope for the future.” The reason why authenticity is such a major theme in the novel, is because Holden is currently in the middle of his transition from