Fast Car by Tracy Chapman - Journeys Analysis

Topics: Tracy Chapman, Past tense Pages: 4 (1343 words) Published: March 19, 2013
Fast Car, originally composed and performed by Tracy Chapman in 1988, is a contemporary song that has captured the hearts of audiences of all ages around the world for decades. In this piece, the persona takes the listener on not only a physical, but also on an emotional and imaginative journey, as she tells us her story of desperate hope to escape the place she lives in order to make a better life for herself elsewhere, and the obstacles she must overcome to do so. Through this text, Chapman effectively communicates that searching for something better is often the reason we embark on a journey, as well as exploring the fact that taking a physical journey does not always mean that we escape the problems that exist in our life. She also conveys that even though a journey may not have given you what you thought it would, it will often bring newfound maturity, sense of reality and greater understanding of life. The lyrics in the first three stanzas especially help describe the fact that searching for something better in life is often the reason we choose to take a journey. Lines such as ‘I want a ticket to anywhere’, ‘anyplace is better’ and ‘finally see what it means to be living’ demonstrate the extremity of her need to get out of wherever she is and start a new life. It is also through these colloquial expressions that a lack of education is implied, along with introducing the possibility of a poverty stricken environment which reinforces her desperation to get away. With the use of the adverb ‘anywhere’ and the pronoun ‘anyplace’ in these lines, the broad spectrum of the persona’s imagination is successfully offered. ‘Starting from zero, got nothing to lose’ also depicts that she feels as if she’s got nothing worthwhile to leave behind because of her dead end situation, and she can’t go anywhere but forward. The cumulation of plans that the persona has made in the second stanza adds a tone of excitement and optimism, and reinforces her hopeful and eager attitude...
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