Holden Caulfield’s Photojournal
Listening to: Where’d you go by Fort Minor
We chose this song because its lyrics well exemplify Holden’s emotions and how he feels about Allie’s death- the first stanza: “Where’d you go?/I miss you so/Seems like it’s been forever/Since you’ve been gone” expresses a feeling of nostalgia and sadness that Holden shares as a consequence of Allie’s death. The lyrics “Some days I feel like shit/Some days I just wanna quit, and just be normal for a bit” help illustrate Holden’s frustrations with how his life is turning out; for example, the frustration that he felt after his fight with Stradlater contributed to his decision to leave Pencey.
Things that remind me of Allie
my brother Allie had the kind of red hair that you could spot without even looking at it. he was a really intelligent boy, terrifically intelligent. he was such a nice kid too, you’d have liked him, you would have. people with red hair are supposed to get mad really easy though , but he never did. he really had special red hair. after he died, i always think of him everytime i see red stuff.
Allie’s death has had a substantial impact on Holden’s life; for example, he spends an entire page just describing his brother in great detail, and he constantly and consistently remarks that he was a kind and intelligent child. He talks about Allie’s red hair a lot, and the description he uses is that he could sense Allie behind him while playing golf one day, “that’s the kind of red hair he had” (38). For this reason we chose the color red to represent Allie and created the idea of Holden finding red special to him.
ducks in a pond
it’s a picture of the ducks swimming around in the springtime in the lagoon in central park. this one thing’s always been buggin me though, i wonder where they go during the wintertime when the lake freezes over…
Holden asks numerous times where the ducks go in the winter when the water freezes over as if he is just looking for a new response to a question that means more than it seems. The fact that some of the ducks do not make it to the south symbolize Allie and how their (both Allie and the ducks who don’t make it) deaths were not a direct cause of their choices; to him it feels unfair that the ducks weren’t even given a chance to live. Holden even remarks later that “it drives him crazy” (111) when people die because of other people, especially when they are entertaining and intelligent. Although Allie’s death is not explicitly stated as a reason for his opinions, it is heavily implied based on the terminology that Holden uses (intelligent and entertaining; he used similar words to describe Allie) that he felt the same way about Allie. Allie died of cicumstances beyond his control (leukemia), despite being an intelligent and overall likeable person.
this kid sleeping in class– haha, self-portrait maybe?
i took this picture of this kid, i swear i get deja vu everytime i look at it. this made me think of this song though, called boulevard of broken dreams by greenday.
We chose to put a picture of a student sleeping in class because a lot of Holden’s life is defined by how many chances he’s gotten to succeed in his academics, and how often he’s thrown it all away just because he doesn’t care enough to try. He dryly remarks on this student’s situation because he knows that he should try harder, but he cannot seem to find the motivation to do so. We added the song reference because the lyrics in Boulevard of Broken Dreams helps set the mood: “I walk a lonely road/The only one I’ve ever known/Don’t know where it goes/But it’s home to me and I walk alone”. Holden has always been the dropout, the least intelligent member of his family, and while he realizes this, he cannot seem to better his situation because he claims he does not care. He does not know where his life is going to lead him, or where and what he wants to go and be. He also seems lonely and does not seem to have a large number of friends; Allie’s death must only serve to worsen the situation.
i was playin the other day and i kept thinking about how angry i was at everything. so i took it out on the darts.
this one’s for those phony prep school bastards. yeah sure i probably did deserve to get kicked out, with failing 4 classes and all, but that doesn’t mean that they should act so goddam fake. in my old school Elkton Hills, there was this guy called Mr. Haas, the phoniest bastard i’ve ever seen in my life, who’d just give these phony smiles to parents he didn’t like and walk away from them like he was better than them. my own dorm in Pencey, where the Ossenburger Memorial Wing is, was dedicated to a guy who just made a load of dough in the undertaking business, mass burials. except i betcha he just threw all the bodies in the water, the rate he was goin at.
Throughout the novel, Holden expresses a large amount of frustration with people who act “phony” or fake because it bothers him when people are not genuine. Various people in all of the prep schools he’s gone to have always bothered him for this reason; for example, he hated Mr. Haas for smiling and shaking hands with parents that he openly seemed uncomfortable with, emphasized by how he would quickly leave the confrontation and talk to other parents for a long period of time. (14)”
this one’s for you, stradlater, you God damn sonuvabitch. that stupid bastard doesn’t deserve her damn it. he couldn’t even get jane’s name right, that moron. jean gallagher, what the hell was he thinking? he’d better not have hurt her.
Holden was greatly angered by the disrespect that Stradlater had for the girls he dated; while Stradlater seemed only interested in “giving girls the time”, Holden thought that the way Stradlater handled his dates by basically forcing himself onto them was despicable. When Holden discovers that Stradlater had a date with Jane, he intially holds his self-composure, but a combination of Stradlater’s disrespect for Holden’s composition and his jealousy of Stradlater for getting Jane and not taking the relationship seriously angers Holden to the point where he tries to punch his roommate. The song that is linked by the word “this” helps set the mood; the lyrics “I don’t wanna feel/like I did that day/” express Holden’s feelings of loneliness when he finds out that Stradlater is dating Jane.
this one’s for whatever in the stupid world took away Allie’s life, cause he deserved to live like the rest of us. God damn it Allie, you didn’t have to go. that one’s for that crumby bastard stradlater, who just ripped up the composition i wrote about your baseball mitt like it didn’t mean nothing at all. and that one’s for the stupid windows in the stupid garage, cause my hand still hurts sometimes from punching it the day you died. you didn’t have to leave the rest of us behind, cause i sure as hell don’t know where i’m going.
The day Holden found out that Allie had died, Holden punched all the windows in the garage and permanently damaged his hand- “My hand still hurts me once in a while, when it rains and stuff, and I can’t make a real fist anymore” (39). This demonstrates that Holden felt angry about Allie’s death and that he was greatly affected by it to the point where he felt the need to resort to violence to deal with the grief. Although it is not explicitly stated, it is greatly implied when Holden constantly talks about how intelligent and kind a person Allie was that Holden does not believe that Alllie deserved to die. Here he dedicates the last dart to the injustice he felt and the hurt that he went through because of Allie’s death.
Duck photos courtesy of Lemon Sunrise; all else by bluefolder. Slideshow and pictures in slideshow by cecilia28.