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Existentialism: "Hey You"

By Na Shin, David Han, and Chloe Lewington
by

Na Shin

on 16 October 2012

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Transcript of Existentialism: "Hey You"

By Na Shin, David Han, and Chloe Lewington "Hey You"- Pink Floyd Existence Precedes Essence Absurdity Nothingness Alienation Dread and Anxiety Choice and Commitment "Hey You"- Pink Floyd Existentialist believe that a man is nothing but his conscious-self. Whatever he experiences is unique to him. No one can truly comprehend his thoughts and understand his values, but himself. There is nothing like him in the universe. The nature of the man is more fundamental than his mere existence. In order to understand him, one must learn his essence, “what he is.” Floyd’s deranged and disordered thoughts as a whole is absurd. While life goes on, Floyd is going through a mass confusion in isolation behind a wall. His enigma and existence are insignificant. His thoughts are just filled with misery. Throughout the song, Floyd calls out to the people on the other side of the wall, “Hey You!” No one stops to help or even reply. His inevitable doom is to stay alone from society and to die as “the worms [eat] into his brain.”
As a whole, those that believe in existentialism generally feel that one should disregard anything that has structure. They think that people should let go of the knowledge and moral values that bind them to society. People should embrace the nothingness that comes with letting go of everything. If there is nothing, then there is possibility.
Existential philosophers emphasized the feeling of general apprehension or dread induced by an individual’s realization of basic and meaningless truth. According to Kierkegaard, dread is built into us as a means for God to call us to make a commitment of a moral and spiritual way of life The new awareness about emptiness of life leads to anxiety. Anxiety creates one's confrontation with the impossibility of finding the ultimate justification and the core reason for one's self- imposed choices.
In existential alienation, an individual is estranged from oneself and from one's true consciousness of its own freedom. The lack of realization of freedom ultimately leads to self-imposed estrangement from within. While one can self-alienate from oneself, he or she is able to estrange from the world and the society. An individual's resistance to identify oneself with the institution of their own society is most common in existential alienation. This individual finds emptiness and meaninglessness in his or her society. Existentialists believes that choice is inevitable. For example, to not choose to do something is to make a choice. Humans always have the freedom to choose what they want to do. Everyone has the choice to create their future. They also believe that if one makes a choice, it means that he or she has to commit to that choice and hold oneself responsible for the consequences. What is it? In the lyrics... Hey you! out there in the cold
Getting lonely, getting old, can you feel me
Hey you! Standing in the aisles
With itchy feet and fading smiles, can you feel me
Hey you! don't help them to bury the light
Don't give in without a fight.
Hey you! out there on your own
Sitting naked by the phone would you touch me
Hey you! with your ear against the wall
Waiting for someone to call out would you touch me
Hey you! would you help me to carry the stone
Open your heart, I'm coming home
But it was only a fantasy
The wall was too high as you can see
No matter how he tried he could not break free
And the worms ate into his brain.
Hey you! out there on the road
Always doing what you're told, can you help me
Hey you! out there beyond the wall
Breaking bottles in the hall, can you help me
Hey you! don't tell me there's no hope at all
Together we stand, divided we fall. Analysis The Wall is about a boy named Pink who grew up during post-world-war-II in England. Throughout his life he endures through painful experiences that cause him to slowly build this wall between him and society. Every mishap that causes him pain is another brick that he adds to his wall. Hey You starts off at the completion of his wall.
Throughout the song, Pink Floyd is on the other side of his wall seeking human interaction. He realizes that isolation from humanity was a mistake and desperately tries to get back to the other side. His thoughts and his going through it all are undeniably unique. No one else can comprehend who he is. Only he can understand what’s happening to him. He makes his own decisions and his life is whatever he makes of it.
Existential philosophers state that existence consists of absurdity, the state or quality of being utterly senseless, illogical, or untrue. The human kind is miniscule compared to its surroundings. While the universe is infinite, a person is just a meaningless speck that comes and goes. A man in himself is absurd. His reasoning is weak, and if he is viewed as a whole, he is fundamentally contradicting, full of ambiguity. What is it? In the lyrics... Hey you! out there in the cold
Getting lonely, getting old, can you feel me
Hey you! Standing in the aisles
With itchy feet and fading smiles, can you feel me
Hey you! don't help them to bury the light
Don't give in without a fight.
Hey you! out there on your own
Sitting naked by the phone would you touch me
Hey you! with your ear against the wall
Waiting for someone to call out would you touch me
Hey you! would you help me to carry the stone
Open your heart, I'm coming home
But it was only a fantasy
The wall was too high as you can see
No matter how he tried he could not break free
And the worms ate into his brain.
Hey you! out there on the road
Always doing what you're told, can you help me
Hey you! out there beyond the wall
Breaking bottles in the hall, can you help me
Hey you! don't tell me there's no hope at all
Together we stand, divided we fall. Analysis What is it? In the lyrics... Hey you! out there in the cold
Getting lonely, getting old, can you feel me
Hey you! Standing in the aisles
With itchy feet and fading smiles, can you feel me
Hey you! don't help them to bury the light
Don't give in without a fight.
Hey you! out there on your own
Sitting naked by the phone would you touch me
Hey you! with your ear against the wall
Waiting for someone to call out would you touch me
Hey you! would you help me to carry the stone
Open your heart, I'm coming home
But it was only a fantasy
The wall was too high as you can see
No matter how he tried he could not break free
And the worms ate into his brain.
Hey you! out there on the road
Always doing what you're told, can you help me
Hey you! out there beyond the wall
Breaking bottles in the hall, can you help me
Hey you! don't tell me there's no hope at all
Together we stand, divided we fall. Analysis The second line where the speaker says that the other person is getting lonely represents nothingness. This is because existentialists believe that solitude is a good thing for people. Also, the entire song seems to be about getting the other person to let go of themselves, their knowledge, values and other human relationships and to come and be with the speaker. The whole theme of the song relates to how the speaker feels alone in reality. What is it? In the lyrics... Hey you! out there in the cold
Getting lonely, getting old, can you feel me
Hey you! Standing in the aisles
With itchy feet and fading smiles, can you feel me
Hey you! don't help them to bury the light
Don't give in without a fight.
Hey you! out there on your own
Sitting naked by the phone would you touch me
Hey you! with your ear against the wall
Waiting for someone to call out would you touch me
Hey you! would you help me to carry the stone
Open your heart, I'm coming home
But it was only a fantasy
The wall was too high as you can see
No matter how he tried he could not break free
And the worms ate into his brain.
Hey you! out there on the road
Always doing what you're told, can you help me
Hey you! out there beyond the wall
Breaking bottles in the hall, can you help me
Hey you! don't tell me there's no hope at all
Together we stand, divided we fall. Analysis In the song “Hey You,” the realization of the narrator's failed effort to reach his or her help connotes dread due to the narrator's new awareness of predicted and further failures. The narrator's new acknowledged truth leads to doubt and disappointment about the future. The narrator states the non-existing reason and justification behind an individual's actions by stating, “Always doing what you're told.” The “you” is indecisive and obtains no reason for their choices. The impossibility of find the ultimate reason and justification for the choices one makes is evoked by anxiety. What is it? In the lyrics... Hey you! out there in the cold
Getting lonely, getting old, can you feel me
Hey you! Standing in the aisles
With itchy feet and fading smiles, can you feel me
Hey you! don't help them to bury the light
Don't give in without a fight.
Hey you! out there on your own
Sitting naked by the phone would you touch me
Hey you! with your ear against the wall
Waiting for someone to call out would you touch me
Hey you! would you help me to carry the stone
Open your heart, I'm coming home
But it was only a fantasy
The wall was too high as you can see
No matter how he tried he could not break free
And the worms ate into his brain.
Hey you! out there on the road
Always doing what you're told, can you help me
Hey you! out there beyond the wall
Breaking bottles in the hall, can you help me
Hey you! don't tell me there's no hope at all
Together we stand, divided we fall. Analysis The theme of alienation is consistent through out the song. The narrator repeatedly emphasizes the help that exists outside the environment which he or she is confined to. The redundant use of the words “out there” connotes the narrator's unfamiliarity of where the help he or she seeks is located, which exemplifies alienation and isolation from the truth and knowledge. The “wall” that was too high depicts an objective source of alienation between the help, or the society, and the narrator. The narrator's estrangement from the rest of society is described through his feeling of loneliness which represents that he was by himself. The narrator's alienation is further depicted when the narrator continues to call out for help beyond the wall unable to communicate due to distance and the wall. The failure to contact help leads the narrator to perceive there is no hope. What is it? In the lyrics... Hey you! out there in the cold
Getting lonely, getting old, can you feel me
Hey you! Standing in the aisles
With itchy feet and fading smiles, can you feel me
Hey you! don't help them to bury the light
Don't give in without a fight.
Hey you! out there on your own
Sitting naked by the phone would you touch me
Hey you! with your ear against the wall
Waiting for someone to call out would you touch me
Hey you! would you help me to carry the stone
Open your heart, I'm coming home
But it was only a fantasy
The wall was too high as you can see
No matter how he tried he could not break free
And the worms ate into his brain.
Hey you! out there on the road
Always doing what you're told, can you help me
Hey you! out there beyond the wall
Breaking bottles in the hall, can you help me
Hey you! don't tell me there's no hope at all
Together we stand, divided we fall. Analysis The person that the speaker is referring to in the song has the choice to answer to the speaker’s beckoning. The existentialists believe that humans make their own choices by which decides their fate or nature. The person’s choice of what to do is inescapable; they make a choice whichever way they look at it.
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