2. Holden finds that his idols have feet of clay or that they are "phonies." Give examples and explain. Is there a pattern here? Discuss. Are his views projections?
Holden Caulfield is a very troubled young man who cannot "fit in" becasue he is emotionally imploding as a result of the untimely death of his younger brother Allie. He criticizes his comrades, teachers, room-mates and dates. He calls them "phoney." In reality his is criticizing everyone else because he is really blaming himself fro not being able to save Allie from leukemia.
He is so emotionally disturbed that he cannot focus on his own future–his behavior (flunking) at Pencey is going to create big problems for him as he is a gifted kid who should have a bright future ahead of him if he can come out of his serious depression.
His comment to his sister, Phoebe, that all he wants to be is "a catcher in the rye" tells us that he wants to rescue kids who are at risk in life–(as Allie).
He sees all his "dates" in girls as frustrating both because he’s a teenager and it’s a normal part of development to be aroused frequently, and partly because he is so emotionally isolated and lonely.
He must come to terms with the loss and pain, must lose the guilt and appreciate hiomself–build self-esteem, before he will have much luck in adult life. Mr. A. . . . tries to focus him, but all he can see is Mr. A’s drinking. Mr. Spenser had no better luck. He has to quit blaming before he can relate to others. His physical journey home mirrors the journey in himself.