John Lennon - Imagine

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Social criticism examines literature in the cultural, economic, and political context in which it is written or received. Keeping this definition in mind, it is necessary to understand the political, cultural and economic environment in which Lennon the above famous words. "Imagine" was released in 1970. The late 60's was the time of the Vietnam War and also the time when the peace movement was at its peak. Anti-war demonstrations were a common sight on every street corner. Anti-communist sentiments were at an all time high following the war. The countless lives lost by both sides made plenty realize the fruitlessness of war and prompted them to spread the message of love, unity and peace. Due to ubiquitous demonstrations all over the world, there was social unrest. Compulsory military service added to the social unrest. Fathers and Sons left to fight the war without much hope of returning back alive thus adding to the civil unrest. As always, any period of social unrest has an adverse affect on the economy. Due to the huge war expenses and lack of man power to run the economy, the late 60's and early 70's experienced an economic downturn in the United States which was felt throughout the world. By the end of the 60's, The Beatles had acquired a worldwide fan base and legendary iconic status among the youth of the world. John Lennon, the most prolific and famous of the Beatles, wasn't averse to making political statements through his music. He knew that he had the power to spread the message of peace to millions and also knew that people would sit up and take notice of his music. "Imagine" is one such effort in getting closer to those elusive goals of peace and unity. In the first verse of the song, Lennon tells us how important it is for us to live in the present moment rather than worry about what is waiting for us upon our death. Even though it is normal to worry about our death, Lennon urges us to pay more attention to the sky above us rather than heaven...
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