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The Sound of Silence ~ Poetry Analysis

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Joshua Sell

on 18 December 2012

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Transcript of The Sound of Silence ~ Poetry Analysis

In Paul Simon's creative phrasing, use of figurative language and poetic devices, he presents the deep underlying topic that in a society, not unlike our own, people's thoughts are dictated by the media and that people must remember the importance of their own influence. Thesis A Hello darkness, my old friend
A I've come to talk with you again
B Because a vision softly creeping
B Left its seeds while I was sleeping
C And the vision that was planted in my brain
C Still remains
D Within the sound of silence First Stanza E In restless dreams I walked alone
E Narrow streets of cobblestone
F ’Neath the halo of a street lamp
F I turn my collar to the cold and damp
G When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
G That split the night
D And touched the sound of silence Second Stanza H And in the naked light I saw
I Ten thousand people maybe more
J People talking without speaking
K People hearing without listening
L People writing songs that voices never shared
L No one dared
D Disturb the sound of silence Third Stanza
M "Fools," said I, "you do not know
M Silence like a cancer grows
N Hear my words that I might teach you
N Take my arms that I might reach you"
O But my words like silent raindrops fell
D And echoed in the wells of silence Fourth Stanza P And the people bowed and prayed
P To the neon god they made
Q And the sign flashed out its warning
Q In the words that it was forming
R And the sign said "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
R And tenement halls
D And whispered in the sound of silence Fifth Stanza individuality, developing opinions based on experience and knowledge rather than what biased information is presented to you. Poop Analysis The speaker wakes after a meaningful dream, possibly a reoccurring one.(lines 1-2)

He remembers the lesson he learned despite the overpowering message being constantly expressed around him (lines 3-6) Figurative Language and Devices Metaphors Seed Planted = Idea being created that will grow Alliteration Left its seeds while I was sleeping Within the dream, the speaker walks the streets of cobblestone, which represents a simplistic way of life or a path now less taken. The image always emphasizes how alone the speaker feels. (lines 1-2)

The speaker's own range of influence is compared to that of a small street lamp and is then overpowered by the message of the media when everything is illuminated by its bright neon light. Analysis Figurative Language and Devices Analysis Metaphors Cobblestone Road = Road Less Taken/The Old Ways The speaker is in the company of many others who are simply following the beliefs that they are told or are too reserved to attempt to make an influence of their own on important issues. Analysis The speaker implies that the more that one thought is agreed upon, the less freedom one has to form their own opinions. The speaker wants to spread his ideas with others to open minds, but no one wants to listen. Figurative Language and Devices Analysis
"Sounds Of Silence - Lyrics Page." Sounds Of Silence - Lyrics Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012. Works Cited Importance of Individuality The Sound of Silence - Poetry Analysis Presented to you by... Sellmon and Fryefunkel! Paul Simon is successful in writing a song that effectively paints a picture of one man alone in the darkness, but then evolves into thousands of people flooding a brightly lit street. Simon is somewhat ambiguous in the overall meaning behind his song. In order to understand the message, the listener must develop their own ideas. Themes Strengths Weaknesses AND Sellmon and Fryefunkel Greatest Hits Figurative Language and Devices Figurative Language and Devices Thanks for paying attention. The light in the song represents one's ideas or area of influence. The overpowering neon light is the media's influence over the general public's thoughts The neon god references the media through television and the internet that people use to guide their opinions on important matters such as religious or political beliefs. People talking without speaking and hearing without listening are the conformists who followed the generally accepted ideas blindly. The ones who are writing songs that are not shared are people who are afraid to share their new perspective or ideas because they are unlike what is commonly accepted. The silence is the hum of everyone agreeing to a narrow way of thinking. Although everyone is talking, they are all spreading the same message. Since the majority agrees on one belief, expressing that belief is superfluous. Simon says it is growing like a cancer because the more people that speak one idea, the harder it is to hear a different opinion. The individual is as unheard as the raindrop. Alliteration Ten thousand people maybe more Imagery Similes cancer grows = spreading of silence (It is just as harmful as a cancer) silent raindrops = his attempt at warning others When a single opinion becomes fact, it is worshiped, and any other thoughts are considered blasphemous. The only places left to find a new perspective are in the minds that are untarnished by the media's grasp. The only place to find such minds are in the impoverished areas of the world. Metaphors neon god = figure the public idolizes Hyperbole And the people bowed and prayed Metaphor of Light Warning Against Society/Media's Influence The verses of the song are written in a variety of feet and meter. Each stanza averages around iambic pentameter.
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