This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Contextual Criticism Essay

1385 words - 6 pages

Upon first hearing the song One by Metallica many would assume it is just a heavy metal song that has no true meaning to its lyrics other than to sound abrasive and frightening. However this song in particular has a much deeper meaning than just to scare listeners. The song is based on the anti-war novel Johnny Got His Gun written by Dalton Trumbo in 1029. In order to understand the song in its entirety we must first be able to understand the novel and its meaning.
Johnny Got His Gun was written by Dalton Trumbo. Trumbo began writing in 1937 and the novel was officially published in September 3rd 1939, two days after the outbreak of World War II. After the Pearl harbor attack Trumbo and his ...view middle of the document...

Johnny Got His Gun was no exception.
The book is about a young man by the name of Joe Bonham who is a World War I veteran. After being blown up by a landmine Joe is left faceless and limbless. The entire novel is based on Joe's memories and his life in the hospital being unable to communicate with anyone. Joe thinks about his father, specifically a quote wherein his father says "For democracy, any man would give his only begotten son". This leads us to the assumption that war fighting in was is a noble action and that dying in war is worth the sacrifice.
Upon reading Johnny Got His Gun and conducting further research on its author Dalton Trumbo I have been able to interpret the song One much better than before. One was released in 1989. Critics praised Hetfield’s psychological portrayal of the horribly disfigured World War I veteran. Hetfield has gone on to say that he wrote the song to portray a feeling of being cut off from the outside world, just as the main character in Trumbo’s famous book felt.(Encyclopedia Metallica).
The band Metallica was formed in 1982 and debued their first album Kill Em All in 1983. The founding members of Metallica are James Hetfield (vocalist) and Lars Ulrich (drums). The song One was released on the bands fourth studio album …And Justice For All. The album was the band’s first Grammy nomination which they lost to Jethro Toll in 1989. In 1990 One earned the band their first Grammy for Best Metal Performance.
The song bares a very close resemblance to the work of Dalton Trumbo. When we first hear the song there is the sound of machine guns and a helicopter fading in the distance, painting the picture of a war setting. The two lines of the song are as follows, “I can’t remember anything, can’t tell if this is true or dream” which is the first sign of inspiration by Trumbo. In Johnny Got His Gun, Joe states “I can’t tell if I’m alive and dreaming or dead and remembering”(Trumbo), this idea is what Hetfield and Ulrich are trying to portray with the first two lines. “This terrible silence stops me” introduces the idea the main character in this piece is unable to make any noise at all.
The main character in the song begins to wake up and realize that he is blind and is immediately exposed to severe pain. He realizes that all of his limbs are gone as well as his face. “Back in the womb it’s much too real” is used to provide a comparison because in his state he is currently being fed through a tube and cannot see or hear anything, just like one would experience in the womb which would be disturbing to anyone. “In pumps life that I must feel” references the earlier line “Nothing is real but pain now”. The soldier is being kept on life support, forcing him to constantly feel pain which at this point is what his entire...

Find Another Essay On contextual criticism

Art Appreciation Essay

940 words - 4 pages was so important to the state religion that Pharaohs were considered his human form and even took on the name Horus. (Pantheon) "Contextual Criticism - seeks the meaning by examining related information "outside" the artwork, such as the artist's life, his or her culture, social, and political conditions and philosophies, public and critical reactions to the work, and so on. These can all be researched and applied to the work in order to

A Woman's World Essay

1568 words - 7 pages she saw as a prison, her abusive aunt’s mansion, when she was sent away to school. Soon, though, she again felt as if she was imprisoned. Jane suffered in horrible living conditions during her time at Lowood Institution, a charity school for girls. In Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism, W.A. Craik notes that Lowood was “physically hard and aesthetically repulsive” (74). Strict procedures, overcrowding, and nauseating excuses for food greatly

The History of the Art of War Within the Framework of Political History by Delbruck

1604 words - 7 pages he manages to diverge from them in historiography although they all were influenced by the German enlightenment movement. It allows the students to confirm the importance and critical nature of the bottom-top narrative and rigorous factual criticism within historiography. More importantly, it will show the students how Dulbrek enhanced military history to not only focus on technical details but to also take into account the contextual, social and

My Friend Hamilton -Who I shot

6594 words - 26 pages considering the contextual elements. This is exactly the criticism offered by Freeman concerning Rogow’s book. A Fatal Friendship’s main problem is its tone-deafness to the subtleties and realities of early national politics and life. Psychological theorizing requires a light touch when dealing with personalities from the distant past who saw their world through a cultural lens quite different from our own. As eighteenth-century gentlemen and

Qualitative Research or Quantitative Research - Which is better and why?

1838 words - 7 pages Both qualitative and quantitative research methods have their specific qualities which make them useful to a researcher, however in the course of this short essay I will explain why, for several reasons, qualitative research is better. As both methods operate within different assumptions, it is important to stem criticism for each method's respective theoretical base in order to adequately judge them. In the course of this essay I will highlight

Racism in Australia Research

817 words - 3 pages provide additional insights" (Mellor,D. 2010,475). Overall, 34 Koories, 18 were interviewed with the age ranging f from 18 to 58 years. The major data for this research were taken from stories obtained by means of in-depth interviews. In-depth interviews were selected to gain access to the contextual abundance of the participants’ experiences. The intention was to offer the participants the chance to explain the experiences that they saw to be

History of China under Mao Zedong

832 words - 3 pages Cultural Revolution. To what extent would you agree with this statement? Explain you answer. I agree with the above statement to a large extent. To carry out the Great Leap Forward, the government had to persuade people to join communes by a tremendous propaganda campaign but by 1958, all of China was organised into 26 000 communes. From contextual knowledge, we know that life in the commune then was very hard. The

business ethics case

910 words - 4 pages does not associate with having integrity. Despite great pressure to act otherwise, a person with integrity will have inner strength and moral courage to continue to live by ethical principles. 3.3. Justice Justice is the virtue of objectively judging someone’s behaviour and character and granting them what they deserve: either rewards or honest criticism and punishment. Notably, justice is contextual and situational. It should be applied

Analysis of Gender Essay by Myra Jehlen

1008 words - 4 pages context it exists within, this statement reveals that (as it is reflected in literary works) gender is contextual. Building off of this constructionist view of gender, Jehlen offers readers a way to view the relationship between gender and sex. Jehlen claims that, though there concepts are often equated, they are two distinct conceptions (or rather categories). She says that “gender may be opposed to sex as culture is to nature” (265).In

Colonialism and Imperialism - The White Male and the Other in Heart of Darkness

1073 words - 4 pages The European, White Male vs. the Other in Heart of Darkness      The novella Heart of Darkness has, since it's publication in 1899, caused much controversy and invited much criticism. While some have hailed it's author, Joseph Conrad as producing a work ahead of it's time in it's treatment and criticism of colonialist practices in the Congo, others, most notably Chinua Achebe, have criticized it for it's racist and sexist construction of

Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ and Swifts’ ‘Gulliver’s Travels’

1794 words - 7 pages .’ . Once again, this can be seen as Whig criticism. Thus, it is arguable that Orwell and Swift use progress as a theme, with similar techniques but for different contextual purposes. However, it can also be seen that Orwell and Swift represent an Anti-Enlightenment view. Swifts work hangs on the satire of Enlightenment through the protagonist of Gulliver. As a traditional enlightened man, Gulliver’s many exploits should be believed due to his

Similar Essays

Historic Fabrics Design Case Study

1321 words - 5 pages considered as spatial or morphological characteristics in the area. Second, the facade of planned buildings that defines outside spaces of city and public district. It can be considered as a regional architectural feature and concern is to determine the architecture structure and the building facade. Different approaches are known that is the following: contextual uniformity, contextual juxtaposition and contextual continuity. - Contextual uniformity

Dance Criticism Essay

701 words - 3 pages sudden lower-spine contractions, can make an overwrought, effortful impression. In her razor-sharp solo, Jacquelin Harris embodied it the most naturally, as if it were her first language (Burke). Banes had offered a set of fifteen possible combinations of the categories of dance criticism. The combination that best suits this review is number three on the list: contextual, descriptive, non-interpretive, evaluative (35). The review is positive

Roman Copies Of Greek Originals Essay

2322 words - 9 pages established a pattern for research along these lines that has lasted until the present day.” Pollitt does acknowledge criticism of the practice by revisionist historians, “the roman copies have stylistic influences that are particular to their era, and need to be examined within the values of their time and culture of origin in order to be properly understood.” While the influence of contextual artistic values may be easily understood in the

Source Evaluation Of Uncle Tom's Cabin, By Harriet Beecher Stowe

1343 words - 5 pages individual literary works” (Rosenthal viii). It helps its readers understand the literary work by providing contextual and critical overview of literature (Rosenthal viii). According to Rosenthal, the book provides modern criticism but reference material about the H.B. Stowe‘s life and her other works. The source gives the idea of praise and criticism the novel received (2). Some viewed Uncle Tom’s Cabin as “not one word in the book suggest mediocrity