Wake Me Up When My Gold Lord Returns

1485 words - 6 pages

Most people turn their misery into depression, while a few creative minds transform their feelings into writings, many times as poetry or songs. Additionally, most pieces of literature express theme in one way or another to make the piece hold a deeper message for the audience to grasp. Themes prove universal by withstanding time and exemplifying similar meanings throughout the years. Varying elements in the literature help develop a theme and produce it to become a meaningful notion. Regardless of the different seasons used to portray the message of both the poem and the song, “The Wanderer,” a poem written by an anonymous writer in the Anglo-Saxon era, and “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” a song written by Green Day in the twenty-first century, compare the common theme that lingering in the past causes isolation and despair through the literary elements of symbolism of seasons that reveals the desolate mood and the narrator’s reluctance to change, imagery to further accentuate the similar theme between the two pieces, and flashback to contrast the narrator’s present depressed emotions to his past happiness.
Despite the fact that the narrators use different seasons to portray the theme, both “The Wanderer” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends” develop upon season’s symbolism which depicts the desolate mood and the narrators’ reluctance to change due to their inability to let go of their past and present despair. In “The Wanderer” the narrator “woefully toil[s] on wintry seas” (l. 3) by himself because of “grievous disasters, and death of kin” (l. 7). The author uses winter to symbolize a time of little opportunity and death for the narrator because winter already examples a bleak time period with little life, and since the Wanderer’s comrades died, it leaves him alone with no one, but the animals furthering his isolation from humans. Later on, the narrator sails “while hailstorms darken, and driving snow” (42) which continues the bleak mood, only making it more foreboding due to use of “darken.” The narrator still sails by himself and the snow symbolizes a wall from the outside world creating it hard to see or hear anything outside his own mind which helps in the continuance of the mood based on isolation. If the narrator’s search for a gold-lord and incapability to let go of his previous life did not drive him to these measures, he probably would not prove as hopeless and desperate as a consequence of those. On the other hand, “Wake Me Up When September Ends” uses a difference variation of seasons, though, to symbolize a similar mood of bleakness and gloom. Summer typically represents livelihood or freedom; the narrator repeats the line “Summer has come and passed/ The innocent can never last” (ll. 1-2) to expand on the symbolic meaning of summer as a time of innocence and pure fun. The fact, though, that the happiest part of the year “has come and passed” represents that this time- like the mood in “The Wanderer”- exemplifies a...

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