Imagine: a Utopian Analysis

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John Lennon’s Imagine, released in 1971, is one of the most famous utopias ever composed. In his song, Lennon dreams of a world in which there is no religion, no countries, world peace, no possessions and no discrimination; his utopia is a world based on equality. This song was heavily influenced by all the ongoing events that were occurring at the time of its composition. Hundreds of thousands of Americans were calling for world peace and for America to cease its involvement in the Vietnam War, in which it was killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. This song that Lennon wrote is reflective of the need of many people in the ‘70s for there to be world peace and no discrimination.

Lennon’s utopia features real people. In his song he speaks of hopefully changing the views and opinions of the world population, and instead of having all people worrying about what may happen tomorrow or sometime in the future, he wants them to start implementing change now. “Imagine all the people/living for today…” The repetition of this line in the song reinforces Lennon’s “dream” for a better world and it drills into the listener that this is what Lennon wants; a world in which people are trying to make a difference now, rather than at some unforeseeable time in the future.

A common idea related to the utopian ideal of nature is that the removal of possessions could potentially lead to the end of the greed and ambition. This is what Lennon proposes in his utopia; “Imagine no possessions,/I wonder if you can,/No need for greed or hunger”. This line in the song is actually quite contentious, too. Many believe that what Lennon proposes – “Imagine no possessions” – is actually quite an easy thing for him to state because through the exuberant amount of money that he made as being a member of the Beatles, he could easily have any possession that he wanted and he would never have to endure the agony of hunger or the need for fresh water. However, others believe that...
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