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Society - Jerry Hannan

In: English and Literature

Submitted By laekkersulten
Words 550
Pages 3
Society written by Jerry Hannan
(performed by Eddie Vedder)

The song society is a melancholic song representing Chris Mccandles (Alex Supertramp) journey through his rediscovered life. The song focuses on materialism shaping your identity. The songs theme is strengthen by the fact that the song only is performed by Eddie Vedders humming voice and the strumming guitar.

The ebb and flow of Vedder’s voice, paired with the decrescendos and crescendos of the wave-like guitar, reflected the tug of the wild on Alex’s life. The strumming guitar is similar to the cadenced pounding of the ocean, with its tides and undertows; its wild, mysterious grandeur.

Chris flees society to find a peaceful place were he's not judged by his belongings, but by his personality. I think he was frustrated by the problems of the world and the greed of humans, as Eddie Vedder murmurs in the opening lines of Society, with the beautiful play on words, “we have agreed, with which we have a greed.” All humans have an instinctive greed, the desire for more; this is universal. How we control and channel this greed shapes our principles.

The song has an interesting form. Building up through the verses leading to the catchy chorus. The verses all has four lines, but the chorus starts with two lines leading to four lines ending up with eight lines in the last chorus. As you'll notice the chorus is the only place in the song where's backing vocal humming society. I think it's represent some of Chris's thought at the end of the movie where he writes his last dairy entry. Happiness only real when shared.

I think the lyrics and chugging guitar of Society reflect Alex’s wire-like thinking. Flowing and repetitive, it’s possible to take the guitar line from the first lines of the song and loop it to the final fading strums of Vedder’s guitar. Round and round his thoughts went, until they reached a satisfactory conclusion and he could move on—exactly as the song does. Thought-provoking and insistent, the lyrics model Alex’s thoughts and dreams. The guitar, almost reminiscent of a train, seems to be going somewhere, as Alex was.
The song is a journey, a rhetorical question and inconclusive analysis of both Alex and society itself. A guitar-picking interlude epitomizes beautiful simplicity, short pauses in Alex’s life when he did not travel and search and seek. He returns to his restless life of pursuing Something, living on wanderlust after a short period of time, and the song once more takes on a feeling of movement.
In the end, the lyrics simply apologize, “Society, have mercy on me. I hope you’re not angry if I disagree. Society, crazy and deep, I hope you’re not lonely without me.” Alex vanishes from society as the song fades away.
The movie and the song goes beautifully hand in hand. The song really supports the content in the film. Combined they great the life changing feeling that I think the movie gives to the viewer. Chris's life story is a truly tragic, still perfectly balanced with his incredibly journey. In my opinion Society catches all these feelings and make it a perfect movie score.

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