Comparing War In 'Bloody Sunday And Imagine'

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Due to the overuse of war as a means of settling disputes between people with opposing viewpoints, alienation and destruction have become commonplace occurrences throughout the world. Popular artists and music groups including John Lennon (Lennon) and U2 share and impart this outlook through the lyrics of some of their most well-known works including “Imagine” and “Bloody Sunday” respectively. Although both songs speak out against war and its effects at different periods in time, “Bloody Sunday” utilizes chilling, graphic imagery to communicate its message whereas “Imagine” asks the audience to imagine a series of fanciful, far-fetched scenarios to get the same point across. Ultimately, the personal level in which “Bloody Sunday” connects with…show more content…
He believes that anything Lennon’s choice of words in “Imagine” such as “peace,” “sharing,” and “live as one” all align with his personal beliefs and support the notion that war is more detrimental than beneficial. This deliberate choice in diction display everything Lennon values. The slow, steady, and mellow rhythm of Imagine further amplify this. Nonetheless, the Vietnam War was in full effect during the time period in which “Imagine” was released. According to History.com Staff (2009), the United States was in a state of disarray and protest as a result of expanding war efforts under the presidency of Nixon in the early 1970s. Nixon’s “Vietnamization” policy and resolution to increase the number of troops in the air and on the ground were all in response to the Vietnam War. Consequently, few positive results came of this decision, and the nation’s dissent only ballooned. U2’s song “Bloody Sunday” also addresses the comparably violent and atrocious conflict that came as a result of war within Northern Ireland. According to Aiken (2015), Northern Ireland suffered from a prolonged and troubling conflict between Irish “nationalists” and pro-British “unionists” which sparked violent confrontations between both groups for the latter half of the twentieth…show more content…
Despite sharing similar outlooks on war, Lennon’s “Imagine” takes a different approach in executing its message. Rather than blatantly stating what is happening in the world as a result of war, Lennon asks the listener to imagine a world in which countries, religion, greed, hunger, and the concept of heaven and hell do not exist. By presenting the song in this manner, the listener gains the understanding that the world desires these commodities because it currently does not have them. While this may be one technique to provide insight to the current state of the world, I believe U2’s “Bloody Sunday” takes the more straightforward approach by directly addressing the horrors that come as a result of war by using highly emotional language, “mothers, children, brothers, sisters torn apart” and “the trench is dug within our hearts” both bring attention to the fact that war divides people, severs the bonds of a family, and emotionally wounds everyone that weathers its effects. Ultimately, U2’s “Bloody Sunday” paints a more gruesome, descriptive image than Lennon’s “Imagine”. This is important because if the audience can’t relate to the message being communicated, then they are less likely to understand and sympathize with it. Lennon’s message speaks of an ideal, edenic world in which no conflict, isolation, or hatred exists. Although painting an image of an entirely
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