Symbolism In Ben Rector's 'Song Of The Suburbs'

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Ben Rector is a unique musician in the fact that the hardest songs for him to write are his most priced accomplishments. His lyrics stylistically reflect human emotion and his internal struggle between fame and humility, and faith and conformity. His music speaks louder than everyday pop music because it conveys a non-superficial and applicable message. In Ben Rector’s lyrics for “Song of the Suburbs” he utilizes personification and symbolism, emphasizing that there is more to life than self-advancement and money. In the second stanza Rector personifies “the suburbs” by equating it to a murderer. This makes the negative consequences of the suburban mindset more realistic and exaggerated then simply describing it. Rector is strongly stating that if you let the…show more content…
The “American Dream” in this case is symbolic for self-advancement and materialism. He chooses to use this phrasing instead of elaborately describing the climb of the corporate latter or the effects of spending more time at work than with family. Rector’s bridge says, “Are we just running in the dark or living,” which is one of the most evident examples of symbolism in this song. This is his way of saying live with purpose, don’t just conform to society, create your own opinions, and do not be afraid to be different. Unlike prose, he does not have a paragraph to describe his opinions, so he has to be deliberately with every word choice and concise. He only has a few stanzas to leave an impression, but through symbolism there is room for interpretation. On the surface this poem may seem like a matter of physical death, but it actually illustrates the contrast between spiritual death and life of the soul and spirit. Rector is saying that he wants his legacy to be one of faith and purpose, not monetary things that are eternally insignificant. Without realizing the symbolism of his words his message would be
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