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What would be a 5-song playlist that would represent the themes from The Catcher in the...

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prince0295 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted October 6, 2012 at 11:03 PM via web

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What would be a 5-song playlist that would represent the themes from The Catcher in the Rye?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 6, 2012 at 11:37 PM (Answer #1)

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Invariably, your song list would encompass songs that address both Holden's temperament as well as the themes.  For example, one theme that would represent Holden's love of innocence as well as the sad lament he feels for the love and eventual separation for his sister would be Judy Collins' "Both Sides, Now."  There is an innocence borne out of experience in the song that would forge some strong connection to Holden and his predicament in the narrative.  I think that another song that would connect to the theme of Holden's disdain for phonies would be Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb."  There is an alienation featured in the song that would relate to the dislodging that Holden feels in a society that places such a primacy on phonies and being conformist at the cost of individual voice.  I think that Holden would use the Trent Reznor's song, "Hurt," to also bring out this particular disdain for the phoniness and conformity that he can only rage against, with little consequence regarding changing it.  The theme of the hatred towards authority figures would be seen in a song like R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World."  There is a frenetic pace to the song that represents how Holden would feel that individuals in the position of power have done a fairly good job of ruining the world and any hope of redemption within it.  Holden could identify with the idea of "I feel fine," in a setting through which conformity has resulted in a apocalyptic reality.  I think that the song that yearns for innocence and reflects the hurt, anger, and melancholy that is such a part of Holden's narrative would the The Turtles' "Happy Together."  There is the haunting and reverberating echo of "Happy Together" that comes through the song when Holden's world is one in which he really is not together with anyone.  In this song, there is a sad and ironic disconnect between the lyrics of the song, Holden's experienced, and his potential for hope and dreams.  In this, I think that an added dimension becomes present in both the songs and Holden's reaction to them.

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