Throughout the story, the readers are taken on a journey through Holden Caulfield’s perspective of adults and the phoniness of the “real world”. While Holden is chatting with his former history teacher, Old Spence, he narrates, “I felt sorry as hell for him, all of a sudden. But I just couldn’t hang around there any longer, the way we were on opposite sides of the pole…” (Salinger 15). This particular scene reminds me of the song Numb by Linkin Park, which holds the lyrics, “I’m becoming this, all I want to do is be more like me and less like you.” (line 11). I relatee the scene of Holden talking to Old Spence with that line of the song because I can see that he pity’s Old Spence because of his age, and Holden believes that Old Spence has no idea what he is going through because of them being on “opposite sides of the pole”. In this context, the pole represents life and Old Spence is coming to the end of the pole while Holden is still young and at the bottom, with his whole life ahead of him. So naturally, Holden does not want to be like Old Spence like the song says, “all I want to do is be more like me and less like you”.
You're Never Over- Eminem
When Holden was by himself in his room at Pencey Prep, he told the readers about his brother, Allie, who died at age 11 from Leukemia. He said that he "slept in the garage the night he died", and ended up breaking all the windows with his bare fist(Salinger 39). This part reminds me of the line, "The days are cold living without you, the nights are long I'm growing older" from the song, You're Never Over by Eminem(line 1-2). This is exactly how Holden feels; he misses Allie deeply and each day is like a drag for Holden. He is telling us about the event five years after he broke the windows in mourning, which is ironic because in the song it says, "the nights are long I'm growing older". This directly represents how the nights are still long for Holden now, being so lonesome and depressed at Pencey, just like how long the night was at the time Allie passed. He is definitely growing older, but still holding on to the lonesome feelings, which make his days cold and nights long.
Over My Head- The Fray
When Holden decides to leave Pencey Prep and head to New York City, the first stop he made when he got there was at a phone booth. He casually states, “So I ended up not calling anybody. I came out of the booth after about twenty minutes or so” (Salinger 59). This is a really symbolic part of the book and it ties in with the lyrics, “I never knew that everything was falling through, that everyone I knew was waiting on a cue to turn and run” from the song: Over My head, by the Fray (line 2-3). This part of the book shows how genuinely lonely Holden feels. He just left Pencey without telling anyone, and now he is off on a grand adventure in the Big Apple, with no one to call. He also nonchalantly brought up the fact that he was in the phone booth trying to figure out who to call for around twenty minutes. After all the time thinking about who to reach out to, he ended up calling no one, and left. The song directly relates to Holden’s feelings in this scene because, without saying it, the readers know that Holden feels as though everyone he knew was “waiting on a cue to turn and run”, right when he needed them.
Say- John Mayer
The part of the book where Holden writes intricately about Allie's baseball glove is very symbolic and it shows how he actually had an intrinsic motivation to write about the glove, even though school work is usually a burden for him. Allie's glove can represent his heart because of his love for baseball, and Holden feels no pressure in writing about it. The lyrics, "take all of your so-called problems, better put em in quotations" really reminds me of this part because he is getting out emotions, through writing, just like the singer of this song(line 3-4). Holden says, "I wrote about my brother Allie's baseball mitt. It was a very descriptive subject" when telling about the write(Salinger 39). Writing is a form of therapy and the fact that Holden chose to write about Allie's "descriptive" mitt shows how he is getting some sort of release to his "problem", which would be his pain without his brother Allie.
The song Happy, by Leona Lewis, reminds me of Holden because he is so miserable, and does not know his place in life yet. The lines, "Just different faces, different names, get me out of here" are an exact way to sum up Holden's thoughts when he was leaving Pencey Prep(lines 26-27). He says, "I just didn't want to hang around any more. It made me too sad and lonesome" as he decided on his plans for heading to New York City. Pencey Prep is so depressing for Holden because he feels like everyone is phony, and the school is phony. He really is a lone wolf at this point of his life, and he is very confused so he decides to escape to New York City. Like the song says, he just wants to get out of there as fast as possible, so he takes a risk, and he does, for the sake of his own happiness.