I Am A Rock
By Paul Simon
Subject matter: Sheltering himself, isolation, withdrawal, removal, alienation, pulling out, seperation, remoteness and seclusion.
Theme: Hurt deeply from love, hiding from love, central theme is the reassurance that he is a rock and an island.
Purpose: Doesn't want contact with people, he is hiding.
Sound/Mood: crying our for attention
Language: refrain that changes in the last two lines.
Imagery: sadness, tears, lonliness and the feeling of want still needed.
This poem reveals the decision of a lonely person to withdraw from his friends and family into himself. Through this song the writter is sending messages to let the reader know that love can be a painful journey and therefore it is better to reject it rather than risk falling in love, or even becoming quite close, to another person.
The writter has portrayed this feeling through the language he has chosen to use, in particular hyperbole. An example of this can be seen in the lines, "Hiding in my womb, I touch no one and no one touches me." Although the character wants to become untouchable and never be hurt again, the reader knows that they are unable to go back into the womb because it is too isolated. Because of this hyperbole the reader gains an understanding that people cannot withdraw from other people successfully.
Throughout the song the writter has used imagery to produce the characters mood to the reader. An example of this impression is enhanced when we realise the strong use of a metaphor even in the title,'I Am A Rock.' Further on in the song the reader also sees more metaphors such as "I am an island." Because of these examples of metaphors the reader understands that he is trying to compare himself to something strong and isolated. His isolation is saying to everyone that he does not want contact with him or her. The song describes the character hiding away from everything. The reader gets a strong sensation that he feels safer here because of the line, "I am shielded in my armour" before saying the character is in his room, then after it says, "Safe within my womb."
Through this song the reader also gains an understanding that how this character is feeling is rather a long term roller coaster. He has built "a fortress deep and mighty, that none may penetrate" which shows that he will not let his guard down on anyone. The few lines also show that by building a fortress he has made long-term decisions on love and his relationship with people. The lines say that he has had enough of both relationships and love and would rather keep to himself with books and poetry than fall into that trap again.
In fact, from reading this song the reader is left unsure of whether the writter is warning to stay clear of love, or warning the reader through hyperbole that isolation from relationships and love is irresponsible, unwise, ill-advised and foolish. However through this song the writter Paul Simon discovers the intense emotions involved with falling in love and explores the consequences of things going incorrect.
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