Disconnection Anabelle Wright Period 3

Everybody's Talkin'

Harry Nilsson

Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin'" does well in illustrating Holden's feelings of being an outsider in society, not quite fitting in with children or adults, as well as providing a "New York-like" atmosphere through the perspective of one who is absorbed in the people and one's thoughts of the people. This is well suited for Holden's travels throughout New York and his encounters with various people. Similar to lines of the showing the narrator being consumed by "the echos of [his] mind," the book also shows Holden being absorbed in thought and views of people as phonies, as if he is addressing people, specifically adults, from the outside. "The echos of [his] mind" can be heard throughout the book, through Holden's narrations, which usually relate to all the people's actions and what thoughts they provoke. Examples of this are found throughout the text, but can be specified to points in time where Holden is observing adult interactions, such as in the Lavender room, or when he describes the crowd outside of the theatre as "so many phonies"(126) based on their discussions. The song also deals with the challenges relating to both Holden and the subject's presence in the hostile environment of the adult world. Holden's use of pseudonyms throughout the novel reflect his hesitance and possible fear in engulfing himself into the adult world when confronting new adults, which also displays a hesitance in accepting the inevitability of his coming adult self. Similar thoughts are shown by Nilsson when it is stated that "everybody's talkin' at [him]" and all that he hears and sees are his own thoughts and the "shadows of their eyes" displaying alike views, in the sense that he is also an outsider in the hostile and chaotic atmosphere of the New York, or in Holden's case; adulthood.

The Logical Song

Supertramp

Lyrics

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,

A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.

And all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happily,

Joyfully, playfully watching me.

But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible,

Logical, responsible, practical.

And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,

Clinical, intellectual, cynical.

There are times when all the world's asleep,

The questions run too deep

For such a simple man.

Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned

I know it sounds absurd

But please tell me who I am.

Now watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical,

Liberal, fanatical, criminal.

Won't you sign up your name, we'd like to feel you're

Acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable!

At night, when all the world's asleep,

The questions run so deep

For such a simple man.

Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned

I know it sounds absurd

But please tell me who I am.

Analysis:The Logical Song by Supertramp helps in displaying Holden's disinterest and negative views towards society and the adult world, while maintaining a glorified view of childhood and the innocence it represents. Holden's statements of the adult world being "full of phonies"(100) show his distaste for the adult world and his thoughts that a child's world represents all that is true in the world. This is similar to statements in the song describing childhood as "wonderful, a miracle" and adults and institutions as "sending him away", taking away the beauty of life and corrupting one's ability to think freely and critically displaying similar anarchist views towards adults and society viewing them as corrupt, evil institutions, while having a perfect view of childhood. This is similar to Holden's inability to find someone to have an "intellectual conversation"(147) with, and describing people as if they were des moutons de punurge. This can again be seen in lines of the song describing the people of the world as being "asleep." Both the song and Holden show a view of the world, which revolves around the notion that over time the people of the world are corrupted by society into becoming mindless drones, though previously pure, uncorrupted, and enlightened in their youth. Overall both Holden and the song share similar views and the song would serve well in conveying Holden's thoughts during scenes where Holden is viewing adults and comparing them to how he believes they should act so that they are not phonies.

Sugar Mountain

Neil Young

Lyrics

Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain

With the barkers and the colored balloons,

You can't be twenty on Sugar Mountain

Though you're thinking that

you're leaving there too soon,

You're leaving there too soon.

It's so noisy at the fair

But all your friends are there

And the candy floss you had

And your mother and your dad.

Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain

With the barkers and the colored balloons,

You can't be twenty on Sugar Mountain

Though you're thinking that

you're leaving there too soon,

You're leaving there too soon.

There's a girl just down the aisle,

Oh, to turn and see her smile.

You can hear the words she wrote

As you read the hidden note.

Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain

With the barkers and the colored balloons,

You can't be twenty on Sugar Mountain

Though you're thinking that

you're leaving there too soon,

You're leaving there too soon.

Now you're underneath the stairs

And you're givin' back some glares

To the people who you met

And it's your first cigarette.

Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain

With the barkers and the colored balloons,

You can't be twenty on Sugar Mountain

Though you're thinking that

you're leaving there too soon,

You're leaving there too soon.

Now you say you're leavin' home

'Cause you want to be alone.

Ain't it funny how you feel

When you're findin' out it's real?

Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain

With the barkers and the colored balloons,

You can't be twenty on Sugar Mountain

Though you're thinking that

you're leaving there too soon,

You're leaving there too soon.

Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain

with the barkers and the colored balloons,

You can't be twenty on Sugar Mountain

Though you're thinking that

you're leaving there too soon,

You're leaving there too soon.

Analysis: This song helps conveying hesitance in leaving the child's world behind and making his transition into adulthood, and could be used in scenes throughout the book, specifically those in which Holden is recollecting his childhood or the describing the beauty of childhood in general. When Holden describes how "very happy"(120) he is when recollecting upon his trips to the Natural History Museum as a child, it shows the pleasure that he associates with childhood in general. Similarly, the song uses the metaphor of "Sugar Mountain" to represent childhood, which creates a glorified, almost unreal view of childhood as well. The song also expresses Holden's hesitation regarding the transition from a child's view of the world into his adulthood and also the inevitability of this transition through the line "you can't be twenty on Sugar Mountain, though you think that you are leaving there too soon." This is perfect in showing the roots of Holden's rough transition, by paralleling Holden's belief that "certain things, they should stay the way they are"(121), showing his distaste for the thought that he will inevitably grow up. His attempts to cling to his childhood, for example his erratic, irresponsible behavior and symbolically his red hunting hat, show a futile resistance towards his aging. The certainty of this event, as shown by the first part of the song line, "you can't be twenty on Sugar Mountain", is finally accepted like it is in the song, however, by Holden giving Phoebe the hunting cap, and though the song is able to display Holden's initial confliction and his transition through it, Holden eventually outgrows this through his acceptance of the hunting cap back, but his contentment with just watching Phoebe on the carousel, showing the realization that he does not have to completely let go of his former self in order to become an adult.

I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself

Elton John

Analysis: This song does well in conveying and catogorizing Holden's grief and depression through the term "teenage blues." It not only shows how distraught Holden is in the transition from the child to adult worlds, but also conveys Holden's feelings through lines of the song stating that the subject is "getting bored of mankind" and that people in general are "a waste of time," which also shows his distaste towards society. This song helps convey the stress and confusion caused by Holden's own feelings, which he himself does not fully understand, and in unison with the song, this confusing swell of emotions brought on by adolescence caused him to often feel nauseous, tired, and at times "like jumping out [a] window"(104). The book also shares the narrator's view of society and the adult world as being corrupt, horrible, and filled with "rubbernecks"(104). Both are able to express not only the distaste for society which comes at adolescence, but also that one reason that the teenage age group receives these thoughts is their new found realization of this adult world and such a realization, as shown in both works, creates a sense of hopelessness and uncertainty of the future, causing both the song narrator and Holden to contemplate suicide. Therefore, this song would be well suited for scenes involving Holden's erratic, self-destructive behavior, times of confusion regarding what he is feeling and why, as well as scenes in which he displays a sense of hopelessness about society or the future.

Sweet Surrender

John Denver

Analysis: Finally, "Sweet Surrender" by John Denver creates a sense of inner conflict, but an attempt to work through it, which I believe should be used towards the end of the novel, in which Holden is moving closer to the acceptance of growing up, but still may be used at other times in which he expresses uncertainty towards the future. Several statements by both Mr. Antolini, Mr. Spencer, and Holden himself show that he does not really have a plan for the future and is living day by day. Holden's reckless and spontaneous behavior prompts many close to him to worry about his welfare; Mr. Spencer asking whether Holden had any "concern for [his] future"(14) at all. Similarly, this song shows someone going through a rough time and "looking for something [they'd] like to do with their life." This same uncertainty shared by Holden shows an important characteristic of his, which often leads to much of his irrational behavior and conflicting thoughts. Once Holden begins on the path to dealing with his past and current troubles, this song becomes much more relevant, creating a sense of acceptance and enlightenment regarding one's troubles and though there still exists an uncertainty about the future, it shows the realization of what the narrator wants and an attempt to begin and search for something in specific, as well as an acceptance of the past. Though by the end of the novel, Holden is not quite there, we see him beginning his new journey, just as the song narrator, to discover what he wants, and his ability to have a new start.

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