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Analysis of "Blowin' in the Wind"

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Savanna

on 19 November 2015

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Transcript of Analysis of "Blowin' in the Wind"

By: Savanna Humeniuc
Analysis of "Blowin' in the Wind"
"Blowin' in the Wind"
By: Bob Dylan
Born as Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941
American singer-songwriter and poet
Grew up in a Jewish family but later converted to Christianity
Music genres: Folk, rock & gospel
Dylan is mainly known for the impact he has had on the world through his music within the subjects of; politics, social norms and authority in the era of the 1960's
About the Author
Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” uses poetic genre, technical structure and figurative language to effectively contribute to the understanding of the song/poem, allowing deeper meaning for the comprehension of the audience.
Introduction
Table of Contents
Slide 1) Author background
Slide 2) Introduction
Slide 3) Vietnam War photo montage
Slide 4) Song Overview
Slide 5) Poetic Genre
Slide 6) Technical Structure
Slide 7-9) Figurative Language
Slide 10) Theme & Meaning
Slide 11-12) Conclusion
Slide 13) Works Cited
Blowin' in the Wind
War Montage
Song Overview
A
How many roads must a man walk down
B
Before you call him a man?
C
How many seas must a
white dove
sail
B
Before she sleeps in the sand?
D
Yes, and how many times must the cannon balls fly
B
Before they're forever banned?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.


A
Yes, and how many years can a mountain exist
B
Before it is washed to the sea?

C
Yes, and how many years can some people exist
B
Before they're allowed to be free?
D
Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
B
And pretend that he just doesn't see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

A
Yes, and how many times must a man look up
B
Before he can see the
sky
?
C
Yes, and how many ears must one man have
B
Before he can hear people cry?
D
Yes, and how many deaths will it take 'til he knows
B
That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.
Poetic Genre
The poetic genre is lyric
Lyric is a short 4-60 line poem that expresses ones feelings towards a certain subject
He uses words such as "my"
Dylan is expressing his feelings through literary devices toward violence & human rights
He is putting in great effort to prove to the world that what is happening socially/economically is wrong
Dylan is a man who believes in equality of sexes, religion, race etc. and back in the 1960's, there was not much appreciation for people who were "different"
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Metaphors ↗
↗↗
Technical Structure
The technical structure has a great overall effect on the understanding of the song. Although meter does not affect the deeper meaning, the rhythm and rhyme do.
Rhyme:
The song uses an
ABCBDB
rhyme scheme
It emphasizes and flows through the song which sets ease and further understanding to the message.
Repetition of certain sounds imitate a specific environment or situation
Rhythm:
Just like the wind itself, to some it can be very calming yet powerful; just like the rhythm of this song
Very slow which brings out emotion and sensitivity to the audience
Each word has no more than 2 syllables, and there is a strong repetition of words being used close together in each stanza
There is no specific meter
Theme & Meaning
The theme of this song is; world peace, freedom and war. Considering this song was written during the Vietnam War, Dylan was against the act of violence upon the government so he decided to compose a song to further express his feelings. The deeper meaning is that violence is not the answer and that freedom should be granted to everyone, no matter what your beliefs, religion, race etc. are.
Dylan is showing us that the answers to to violence and discrimination is right in front of us, its "blowin in the wind." All that's needed is for people to speak up and act out.
Figurative Language
Imagery:
"How many times must the cannon balls fly before they're forever banned?" (line 1-2)
Mental image of men fighting for their lives, families & countries. Dylan asks; when will it all come to an end?
Symbolism:
"How many seas must a
white dove
sail before she sleeps in the sand?" (Stanza 1, lines 3-4)
Universal symbolism is peace and freedom
Also can refer to Judaism & Christianity
"How many times must a man look up before he can see the
sky
?" (Stanza 3, lines 17-18)
"The sky's the limit" referring to there are no limits and the sky is a representation of unlimited freedom
Everyone in entitled to their own life and should be able to live it how they want, with no restrictions.
Figurative Language - Continued
Metaphors:
"How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?" (Stanza 1, line 1-2)
Men weren't considered a 'man' unless they fought in the war; unless you were a soldier
"How many years must some people exist before they're allowed to be free? Yes, how many times can a man turn his head pretending he just doesn't see?" (Stanza 2, lines 11-14)
Reference to discrimination of African-Americans and Jewish heritages; they were often treated as second-class citizens. Dylan does not want the rest of the world to pretend as if they don't see the cruel acts, he wants society to speak up.
"The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind the answer is blowin' in the wind" (Lines 7-8)
The answer to all of Dylans hypothetical questions and metaphors are right in front of us. The world must reach out, open their minds and 'listen' to the wind for the answers.
Figurative Language - Continued
Metaphors:
"How many deaths will it take 'til he knows that too many people have died?" (Stanza 3, lines 21-22)
Dylan is compressing his sadness on the deaths of innocent people, from such a futile act
"The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind the answer is blowin' in the wind" (Lines 23-24)
This metaphor picks up a new meaning at the end.
If people don't do the right things, there will be war in the streets
Dylan claims he doesn't know the answers but they're right in front of you and people must act out before it's too late to be successful upon their wishes.
Conclusion
In conclusion, the analysis of poetic genre, technical structure and figurative language all tremendously contribute to understanding of Bob Dylans song, "Blowin' in the Wind." Considering the song became the anti-war anthem of 1963, it expresses to the audience the meaning of ending war and starting a fresh path to freedom! Dylan is now known as being the "spokesman" to his generation. In 2012, Americas first coloured president, Barack Obama awarded him with the 'Presidential Medal of Freedom.'
"There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music, his voice helped redefine not just what music sounded like, but the message it carried and how it made people feel" - Barack Obama
Works Cited
"Bob Dylan." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 5 Nov. 2015


"Bob Dylan Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom." Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone, 29 May 2012. Web. 5 Nov. 2015.

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