Tupac Shakur's, "Dear Mama" surprisingly has an almost parallel amount of relevance to Holden, and his relationship with his parents. The only difference between the legendary artist and the legendary unreliable-narrator is that Tupac sings in the past tense, he seems to have matured over the years, while Holden stands poised in the same age of confusion that Tupac did in his younger years. Tupac sings, "Suspended from school; and scared to go home, I was a fool / I shed tears with my baby sister." With this line, we see the parallel of the home life, neither Tupac nor Holden were connected to their parents much or at all, they both got suspended (or expelled) from school and feared too much to even go home. When this happens to Tupac and to Holden, they both turned straight to their sisters before their parents or anyone else. This showed the love and connection each of them had with their sisters. Additionally, Holdens parents are strict and punish him when he acts up like getting kicked out of yet another school, and same with Tupac when he says, "Mama catch me, put a whoopin to my backside." And moreover, it is clear that both Tupacs and Holdens parents are going through a lot. Tupac has a single mother living in a rough neighborhood struggling to support her children, she is on welfare as he says in the song. He describes her great adversities and how she still manages to provide great love to Tupac. This is the same case with Holdens parents, they both mourn the death of Holdens sibling, Allie, and because of this she has horrible levels of stress that make her sick and give her headaches, shes even become a chain smoker to cope, and Holden says that she often stays up half of the night smoking. And though this might be graphic, Tupac says, "...And even as a crack fiend, mama /..... You always was committed / A poor single mother on welfare, tell me how ya did it / There's no way I can pay you back." Though Tupac is more sympathetic and mature about how he says and realizes the situation, Holden sees what his parents do and he values it. Both families have great, great adversities, and both mothers turn to foreign substances to cope with the great stress, but through all of the anger, Holden and Tupac both realize that they are so scared of their parents because they are strict, and they are strict because they love their children and want
This song by The Smiths describes an aspect of Holden perfectly. Morrissey sings, "Take me out tonight / Take me anywhere, I don't care / I never never want to go home / Because I haven't got one." This describes Holden perfectly because he feels largely disconnected from his family. He fears going home. And he stays in New York, he calls up his friends and he even pays a prostitute and dances with random women. He wants to do something he doesn't see as phony and as Morrissey says in other lines, he wants to go somewhere where there is life. Holden, when he goes to the club and to New York, is in search of life too, and probably in search of someone, or something to do that isn't "phony." And at the end of the day, though he might not show it, he does want attention and his existence to be acknowledged, he doesn't want to feel empty.
"I never had a spot for you in my life / Which was true till i heard you cry / And your tears went down your face into my eyes / I'm sorry and i hate myself this time / i've got so many thoughts stuck in my head / and none of them make much sense." This chunk of the song by Surf Curse speaks as basically a summary of what is going on in Holdens love life. This describes the scene where Holden was sitting with Jane on her porch and she begins to cry because of her DV going on at home. Up till then, Holden never really tried to make a move on her. But when that happens he tried to cuddle her and support her and she cries but she doesn't let Holden in, and Holden, being as indecisive as he is and lacking understanding, figures this is his fault and he feels like he's done something wrong. It just adds to the complication he has going on in his life already, and it adds some confusion. But naturally, Holden can't blame himself for problems at all or at least not for long, so soon he finds some rationalizations and excuses as to why Jane didn't want to open up to him.
This song by Pink Floyd just breathes non-conformism and staying away from what is phony, fake, and mainstream. Holden says himself, "What I really felt like, though, was committing suicide. I felt like jumping out the window. I probably would've done it, too, if I'd been sure eveybody'd cover me up as soon as i landed. i didn't want a bunch of stupid rubberneckers looking at me when i was all gory." (Salinger, 104). This line by Holden seems to have a parallel with Pink Floyd's song because Holden states he doesn't want to be surrounded by, and murked with "phoniness" by "rubberneckers"; this term seems to resonate just as much even throughout society today, with the term, "culture vultures."
This song, "Time to Pretend," by MGMT summarizes what Holden is going through. Though, again, this song voices the cry of the youth and takes a more Nihilistic approach to overcoming the adversities they face; they do this through not overcoming any hardships of growing up. This is voiced through the lines, "This is our decision to live fast and die young. / We've got the vision, now let's have some fun. / ... but what else can we do? / Get jobs in offices and wake up for the morning commute? / Forget about our mothers and our friends / We were fated to pretend. / I'll miss the playgrounds and the animals and digging up worms / I'll miss the comfort of my mother and the weight of the world / I'll miss my sister, miss my father, miss my dog and my home." This bug chunk of lyrics from the song sums up so many themes about Holden Caulfield. I think a big misconception, or at least an aspect not as many readers pick up on about Holden is that he is stuck in this complex of pretending, or even being convinced that he doesn't care for his family and the "weight of the world" with school and such. In reality, Holden seems to be an amazing example of the psychological tendency that people want what they cant have, and they take for granted what they do have. This is shown when Holden gets kicked out of school. If he really, truly didn't care for his phony school he talks about hating, then why would he be sad when he was leaving? Why did he complain about its abrupt ending, and stay at school to spend some last goodbye time? And if he really didn't like working and his subjects, why would he find himself constantly running back to Mr. Antolini? And perhaps Holden's most deeply emotional moment throughout the whole book, he narrates, “I felt so damn happy all of a sudden, the way all 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.” (Salinger, 213). This quote here shows how Holden is genuinely attached to his childhood, he might deeply on the inside feel almost jealous of his sister, but not envious just happy for her as he might realize he never had a childhood or never enjoyed it just as much as she did. This quote matches the theme of the song, Holden takes for granted just about everything he has, but he is genuinely dependent on most of these things.