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What is a good choice of song that would describe The Catcher in the Rye?

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antitoro | eNoter

Posted September 23, 2013 at 3:55 AM via iOS

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What is a good choice of song that would describe The Catcher in the Rye?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 23, 2013 at 5:33 AM (Answer #1)

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This is obviously a great question that could be answered in a number of different ways, depending on the kind of themes that are apparent in your own reading of this text. For me, one of the key and tragic themes is that of loneliness. The way in which Holden chooses to isolate himself from everybody else around him is very moving and sad. Note, for example, how even in the first chapter, he has clearly chosen to keep himself away from everybody else:

Anyway, it was the Saturday of the football game... I remember around three o'clock that afternoon I was standing way the hell up on top of Thomsen Hill... You could see the whole field from there, and you could see the two teams bashing each other all over the place... You could hear them all yelling.

This is our first indication in the novel that Holden is a character who deliberately seeks to keep himself away from everybody else, even though ironically he actually desires human company. Think of when he goes into a phonebox and stays there for twenty minutes, wanting to ring somebody but not being able to select anybody. An excellent song that deals with the theme of loneliness is "Eleanor Rigby" by the Beatles. This would be a good song to select in order to highlight this particular element of the text, as just like Eleanor Rigby and Father Mackenzie in the song, Holden is a character who is desperately lonely and craving relationship with humans.

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