Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen – Analysis
By August Frost 3.x || 10. November 2014
In this assignment I’m going to analyse one of Bruce Springsteen’s biggest hits: “Born in the U.S.A.”. This song was written in 1981 and recorded in 1982 in New York. Springsteen wrote “Born in the U.S.A.”, which describes the problems Vietnam veterans encountered when they returned to America, for instance the struggle they had to adjust to civilian life. When the soldiers came home from war, they were generally ignored and had a hard time with unemployment and an inefficient Veterans Administration. In first stanza it says: “Born down in a dead man’s town”, here the narrator describes his early life born into poverty in the lower socioeconomic class. Apparently he had a hard time growing up in his hometown with a lot of trouble. In second stanza the narrator is getting forced into to the marines and sent into war due to a hometown jam. In the last verse in this stanza it says: “To go and kill the yellow man”, this is a clear reference to the Vietnam War. It was totally normal, that the lower class was sent into war as the only option. When the narrator returned home to his own hometown from the war in Vietnam, he experienced poor economy and bad odds for a bright future with a good job. As the first verse in third stanza says: “Come back home to the refinery”, he’s getting hired at a refinery with no other choice and lacking help at the Veterans Administration. The narrator for that reason got an unacceptable reception. The fourth stanza is about his brother, who died in the Khe Sanh battle in the Vietnam War. This stanza functions as an emotional apex of the song, which accentuates the many tragedies of the Vietnam War, and “brother” symbolizes all the men in war like “brothers in war”. The songs title “Born in the U.S.A.” is kind of ironic and the main reason a lot of people misinterpret the song as a patriotic anthem of America. The title matches the ironic...
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