Holden Caulfield, by becoming the biggest phony of all, creates a fantasy world to protect himself from the reality that he can not face. This can be seen from the fact that he will not accept his brother's death, refers to almost everyone as being a "phony," and looks beyond the obvious.
Throughout the story Holden constantly refers back to his younger brother, Allie. Every time something significant happens Holden reminisces back to the time
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could not face the reality that not all children were innocent and some would vandalize property; to Holden bad things only happened to adults.
In conclusion, Holden's refusal to accept what happens in life was the cause for him to be checked into a mental hospital. He had created a whole world for himself and could not break out of it himself. Without the help of his sister Phoebe, he would have eventually gone crazy.