The Road Less Traveled By by: Juli Vasquez-Uk - per. 3

Jealous – Labrinth:

In the novel, Holden states “I remember once, the summer I was around twelve, teeing off and all, and having a hunch that if I turned around all of a sudden, I’d see Allie…God he was such a nice kid…” (pg. 38). I chose the song Jealous by Labrinth because one of the lyrics from the song reads “It's hard for me to say I’m jealous of the way you’re happy without me,” and I feel like this coincides with Holden because he is reminiscing about Allie from when he was younger. Also, another lyric from the song reads "And I always thought you'd come back, tell me all you found was heartbreak and misery...". With that lyric, I feel like it's something that Holden would say to Allie if he got the chance, but obviously he's gone and he's left with the expectation that Allie isn't dead and if he is, he'll tell Holden it was miserable rather than happy because he's jealous that he is "happy" without him. Essentially, this song would usually signify a couple that is broken up, but I didn’t interpret it that way. I interpreted it as if someone lost someone close to them, and they’re hurt that they cannot be with them anymore or in other words, jealous. That is why I made that connection with Holden and Labrinth.

The Worst of Them – Issues:

On the first page of the novel, Holden gets into a little background about why he’s in a psychiatric facility and he starts with “If you really want to know about it…what my lousy childhood was like and how my parents were occupied and all…” The Worst of Them by Issues is a good song representation for this because there’s a lyric that states “It’s funny how every time you push me away, you turn around then you beg me to stay.” I feel like this is what Holden truly wants to say to his parents along with how he feels about them because it's almost as if he’s telling the audience his parents push him away, but in his mind, he knows they’ll feel bad and ask for him to forgive them. In addition, another lyric reads "It's the beating of a broken drum...", and that is basically Holden's voice being used to express or convey how his home was broken during his "lousy" childhood while his parents were "occupied and all". So in his mind, the situation is "funny" to him, or in other words, ironic.

Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers:

In chapter 6, Holden gets into a dispute with Stradlater over Jane because Stradlater took her on a date and Holden is worried that he “gave it to her”. Holden says “This next part I don’t remember so hot. All I know is I got up from the bed, like I was going down to the can or something, and then I tried to sock him with all my might…only I missed…Anyway, the next thing I knew I was on the goddamn floor and he was sitting on my chest, with his face all red” (pg. 43). In the song Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers, they say “Sometimes I feel like my only friend is the city I live in…” To me, this is extremely fitting for this scene because although Holden is constantly surrounded by people, he still feels alone and he just got beat up by someone you’d expect him to be friends with. So, Holden decides to leave to be in the city.

Sleep – Citizen:

Towards the end of the novel while Holden is in the city, he takes Sally out on a date. While on this date, Holden says to Sally, “Look, here’s my idea. How would you like to get the hell out of here? Here’s my idea. I know this guy down in Greenwich village that we can borrow his car for a couple of weeks…tomorrow morning we could drive up to Massachusetts…” (pg. 132). As obvious as it is, Holden is acting very persistently, and there’s a lyric from Sleep by Citizen that reads “…and I would love to be patient, but I just won’t wait. I’m getting sick and tired of this smile that I fake every day.” As you can see, the song lyrics show immense similarity to the situation in this scene with Holden and Sally and the artist with inferences that both are unhappy and impatient and our searching for a quick fix to fill the void.

Use Somebody – Kings of Leon:

At the very end of the novel, Holden finally comes to the realization that he needs to work on himself and grow up rather than repeating the same cycle of adolescence and all the trouble that comes along with it. During the carousel scene, he says “I didn’t care, though. I felt so damn happy all of a sudden, the way old Phoebe kept going around and around [almost the that way he was throughout the novel]. I was damn near bawling. I felt so damn happy, if you want to know the truth. I don’t know why, she just looked so damn nice…” (pg. 213). In the song Use Somebody, a significant lyric is “Off the night, while you live it up, I’m off to sleep. Waging wars to shape the poet and the beat. I hope its gonna make you notice someone like me…somebody. I’m ready now, I’m ready now, I’m ready now, I’m ready now.” The connection here is that I feel like this is what Holden would be telling himself, whether it’s to practice self-appreciation and notice himself or reassure himself that he’s ready to grow up. “waging wars to shape the poet and the beat” is basically saying that rebuilding yourself will come with a lot of sacrifice and dedication if you really want to stay on the right path, and I feel like at the end of the novel, that is where Holden is at.


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