In this song, the lead singer, Anthony Kiedis, is describing how after a drug addiction he moved to a different city to start a new life. This relates to Holden in Catcher in the Rye because after he was kicked out of school he had a hard decision to make, he either could go home before his parents knew about the expulsion, or he could run away to New York. Anthony and Holden both choose to go to the city. In in the song the singer Anthony turns to drugs as way to deal with his depression while Holden turns to alcohol . Obviously that is the wrong choice, but anyways Holden, although underage, drinks as a means of an anti-depressant. “…The more depressed I got, and I decided, while I was walking and all, to stop off and have a drink somewhere” (90). This quote shows just one of a couple instances where Holden wants to drink because he is depressed or lonely. Anthony Kiedis, just like Holden, turned to hard drugs because he felt lonely from his family and friends.
After Holden gets punched by the pimp because he owe the pimp money, Holden becomes consume by anger and imagines himself killing the pimp with a gun. In this scene you start to question Holden's sanity and what goes in his mind. In the book Holden himself starts thinking that he's a "Madman" and he also says "Im crazy. I swear to god I am". In the song "Basket Case" by Green Day there is a clear doubt about the singers sanity "Some times I give myself the creeps". Just like Holden who feels irritated about being so "yellow" and the song also perfectly sums up Holden's character " I am one of those melodramatic fools, Neurotic to the bone, No doubt about it". Throughout the book Holden calls alot of people phonies but Holden is one of those phonies, Holden is a hypocrite and often contradicts himself. The punk rock rhythm helps capture the internal chaos of Holden and his rebellious attitude.
In the book Cather in the Rye Holden Caulfield constantly calls people phonies and talks about how much he dislikes the adult world because there are too many phonies in it. Holden really hates phonies and ultimately makes himself hate other things in life like movies because actors are phonies. Holden doesn't think he's a phony and in the song pretender the singer saying that he's not a pretender or phony, he's not a fake person and doesn't care what everyone thinks "What if I say I'm not like the others?You're the pretender" in this verse David Grohl is saying that he's not a pretender like other people and that your a pretender not him. Holden also says everyone is a pretender but him.
This is one of the last songs Johnny Cash wrote before his passing in 2003 and the song is really sad but some of the lyrics do reflect Holden's life more specifically when he starts reminiscing about his brother Allie and his long and tragic death at the hands of cancer. In the song Johnny Cash talks about self harm and survivors guilt. Johnny's wife passed away 6 months prior to this song and Cash depressed that most of his friends and family are dead and he's still alive. One of the lyrics of the song is "Everyone I know goes away in the end". Holden is depressed through the whole book and how the death of his brother effects Holden tragically. When Allie dies is when Holden losses his innocence since Holden was going through puberty which is a hard time for every teenager and Holden's first experience with life was the death of his brother. His death is the whole reason for Holden's unique view of the world.
Through out the book Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield is utterly depressed. He runs away from school and his family to go to New York and experience life for himself but he soon realizes it's a tough world out there and Holden automatically feels alone and has a desire for companionship. He then starts reminiscing about people he loved in his life and one of was his sister Phoebe which he loves very much. Through out the whole book not once is Holden is happy but in the end of the book Holden is united with his sister Phoebe and he takes her to the carousel in central park and he felt happy for the first time in what seemed forever for Holden."I felt so damn happy all of sudden, the way old Phoebe kept going around and around. I was damn near bawling, I felt so damn happy, if you want to know the truth. I don't know why. It was just that she looked so damn nice, the way she kept going around and around,in her blue coat and all. God, I wish you could've been there". This is one of the only times in this book where Holden his happy with his sister and in the song it says "Oh, I won't be afraid Just as long as you stand, stand by me". Holden is only happy when he's with his sister and even with everything that has happen through his life and his desire to be a loner he still needs companionship and the only person he has that with his sister. Whatever happens in Holden's future he's gonna be alright if Phoebe stands by him which I believe he realizes during this scene in the book, that he needs someone in his life to make him happy and that one someone his Phoebe.