Outline for literary analysis and Essay

profilebeegirlie61
sp1486.pdf

ENG300 ADVANCED COMPOSITION EXAM 500468/500502

LITERARY ANALYSIS SAMPLE EXAM

PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU MAY NOT USE THIS SONG OR ANY PORTION OF THIS SAMPLE EXAM IN YOUR OWN WORK. ANY ATTEMPT TO

PRESENT THIS SAMPLE AS YOUR OWN WORK, WHETHER INTENTIONAL OR ACCIDENTAL, WILL EARN A 1% GRADE FOR PLAGIARISM.

Title: The Language and Cultural Impact of Katy Perry’s “Firework”

Introduction: Katy Perry’s “Firework” is an inspirational song that was released in November 2010. The song hit #1 on the Billboard Music Charts on December 18, 2010, where it remained for three consecutive weeks (Billboard Hot 100). Since its release, the song has transcended the charts and has been featured in popular TV shows such as “Glee” and “The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt,” and even covered by a number of different musical artists in various styles (CBS).

Thesis statement: Katy Perry uses imagery, similes, and metaphors in her song “Firework” to help listeners overcome adversity and embrace their individuality, making the song a modern cultural anthem anyone can relate to during their own personal struggles.

Body Paragraphs 1–2: Imagery

I. The images used in the song “Firework” demonstrate what both insecurity and self-love look and feel like.

II. “Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin, like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?” accurately reflects what it feels like when life becomes a little too overwhelming (AZ Lyrics).

A. This image allows listeners to imagine the fragile state of someone’s self-worth and self-confidence. Even though people who are struggling can work to build themselves up one card at a time, the cards are so insubstantial and weak that they’re always a moment away from collapsing. The image is so impactful because of the sensory and affective language.

PF Blue + Charcoal

PF Blue + White

SP1486(1707)

III. “Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow, and when it’s time you’ll know you just gotta ignite the light and let it shine” is similarly effective because of its positive and uplifting imagery (AZ Lyrics)

A. This line reminds listeners that they’re enough and capable of anything. Perry uses imagery focusing on light and brightness to conquer the darkness the listener may feel within. Though we might normally think of a lightning bolt as a destructive force, Perry is subverting our expectations throughout the song through her imagery. 1. She also writes, “After a hurricane, comes a rainbow” (AZ Lyrics). This suggests that despite the storms one may face, those struggles will guide you towards a brighter and more colorful future.

IV. In an interview Katy had with Capitol Records on the set of her music video, she said, “When I had this idea for a song called ‘Firework,’ I was just thinking about how it takes just a little spark to make a firework, how something so small can turn into something so big and have such an impact” (YouTube). It’s clear that the imagery behind this idea was very important to song’s development and execution.

Body Paragraphs 3–4: Similes and Metaphors

I. The song is an extended metaphor. Listeners are uplifted and encouraged to see themselves as fireworks with lyrics such as, “Cause baby you’re a firework, come on let your colors burst! Make ‘em go ‘ah, ah, ah,’ you’re gonna leave them all in awe, awe, awe” (AZ Lyrics).

A. To be a “firework” means taking the small spark inside of you—the spark that makes you unique—and to let it shine bright. 1. Throughout the world, fireworks are huge spectacles used to celebrate special occasions. To compare yourself to a firework means to see yourself as a unique and colorful spark worthy of celebration and Iove. Perry uses fireworks to express the potential every individual has within themselves.

II. Perry also presents listeners with metaphors that speak to how difficult life can be. Perry writes, “Do you ever feel already buried deep six feet under? Screams but no one seems to hear a thing. Do you know that there’s still a chance for you? ‘Cause there’s a spark in you? You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine. Just own the night like the 4th of July!” (AZ Lyrics).

A. This language conveys what experiencing adversity feels like. Perry is comparing the weight of one’s struggles to the weight of dirt upon a coffin. This weight can make it impossible for people to speak up about their pain and for someone to see that person is actually in pain. Perry reminds listeners that even though this feeling is powerful and can be hard to push through, they’re not alone and their light will shine through the weight of their struggle. 1. These metaphors help the audience connect to the song through their own struggles while also reminding them there’s hope for a brighter future.

III. The metaphors and similes used in “Firework” are there to uplift the listener and encourage them to be themselves. Perry writes, “Boom, boom, boom, even brighter than the moon, moon, moon. It’s always been inside of you, you, you, and now it’s time to let it through” (AZ Lyrics). In this particular lyric, Perry is maintaining her focus on light to combat the darkness, but is now expanding her scope beyond earth. By the end of the song, the listener is encouraged to not only resemble the flare of a firework, but now the brightness of the moon.

Body Paragraphs 5–6: Song’s Cultural Impact

I. The song became popular because of its positive message. The lyrics are universal and can be applied to a number of different struggles someone may face—both big and small. This message was so effective that the song was used by a number of different campaigns and television shows to enhance their own agendas. Perry says of the song: “It’s a movement, it’s an emotional experience” (YouTube).

II. Perry sang this song during her halftime performance at the Superbowl, which was watched by millions of people around the world. Perry chose to end her performance on an uplifting note with “Firework,” which was accompanied by actual fireworks (New Yorker). By choosing this as her last song, Perry made it clear that the song’s meaning was the one she wanted audiences to walk away thinking about—either for themselves and their own personal struggles or simply for each team’s struggle to come out on top and win the game.

III. This song was also used to help campaign for important social issues. Katy Perry dedicated the song’s music video to the LGBTQ+ project “It Gets Better,” in an effort to encourage others to love themselves and be proud of who they are (Rolling Stone).

Conclusion: Katy Perry’s hit song “Firework” has become a modern cultural anthem because of how intimately the song connects with those who are having difficulty accepting themselves for who they are. The language Katy Perry uses in the song is especially affecting and is the primary reason for the song’s success.

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Aswad, Jem. “Katy Perry Dedicates New ‘Firework’ Video to Youth LGBT Project.” Rolling Stone Magazine. 28 October 2010. Web. 2 April 2016. This short article helped me gain perspective as to how far-reaching and impactful Perry’s message is in the song “Firework.” It’s clear the message is important to not only Perry, who is the artist, but also for an entire movement dedicated to gaining equal rights for the LGBT community. I plan on using this information to support the cultural impact portion of my essay.

CBS Radio Team. “Top 10 YouTube Covers of Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ for the 4th.” Mix 104.1: Boston’s Best Variety. CBS, 3 July 2012. Web. 2 April 2016. This article is completely dedicated to covers of Katy Perry’s song. The article links to 10 different YouTube videos of people of all ages and backgrounds putting their own spin on the song. This article gave me a very clear understanding of how far-reaching the song’s impact and popularity is, and how many people are inspired by it.

Cole, Matthew. “Katy Perry Teenage Dream — Album Review.” Slant Magazine. 22 August 2010. Web. 2 April 2016. Though this is a fairly negative review of the album the song “Firework” can be found on, I thought it would be a good idea to see what the opposition has to say about this song. However, even with the couple of negative reviews Katy Perry got for this album and the song, the message is more powerful. This article probably won’t be used to support my ideas in my essay, but it’s given me an alternate perspective on the song’s value.

Goldfield, Hannah. “Katy Perry’s Super Bowl.” The New Yorker. 2 February 2015. Web. 2 April 2016. This article helped me figure out how impactful Perry’s song is, even five years after its release. Though Perry has put out countless hits since “Firework,” the song’s impact is still so relevant that she chose to end her show with that message. This information will be useful in the cultural impact section of my essay.

“Katy Perry — Making of Firework.” YouTube. 5 January 2011. Web. 2 April 2016. This video is a mini-documentary of how the lyrics of “Firework” inspired the vision for the music video. This documentary has interesting interviews with not only Katy Perry and the director of the music video who are the key creators, but also with the extras who were chosen particularly for their individuality and love for the song’s message.

Perry, Katy. “Katy Perry Lyrics — Firework.” AZ Lyrics. 2010. Web. 2 April 2016. I used this website to get the correct lyrics for Katy Perry’s song “Firework.” This website will allow me to see the lyrics in their entirety so I can identify the figurative language being used in the song.

“The Hot 100 for the Week of December 18, 2010.” Billboard. 18 December 2010. Web. 2 April 2016. This website helped me understand the song’s popularity when it was first released. I was able to evaluate how it rose and fell on the charts, which will help me discover what the song’s impact is on its audience and popular culture. It’s also useful to see what other songs were popular at the time to identify if there are any trends in motivational songs at the time, or if “Firework” was a breath of fresh air.

WORKS CITED

Aswad, Jem. “Katy Perry Dedicates New ‘Firework’ Video to Youth LGBT Project.” Rolling Stone Magazine. 28 October 2010. Web. 2 April 2016.

CBS Radio Team. “Top 10 YouTube Covers of Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ for the 4th.” Mix 104.1: Boston’s Best Variety. CBS, 3 July 2012. Web. 2 April 2016.

Goldfield, Hannah. “Katy Perry’s Super Bowl.” The New Yorker. 2 February 2015. Web. 2 April 2016.

“Katy Perry — Making of Firework.” YouTube. 5 January 2011. Web. 2 April 2016. Perry, Katy. “Katy Perry Lyrics — Firework.” AZ Lyrics. 2010. Web. 2 April 2016.

“The Hot 100 for the Week of December 18, 2010.” Billboard. 18 December 2010. Web. 2 April 2016.