shmoop

Satisfactory Essays
Topics: Meaning of life
Ragan Talbert
Period 1A
March 25, 2014
Homework: Shmoop about "All Along the Watchtower" by Bob Dylan
1. Dylan has said that "All Along the Watchtower" is like a ballad (a song with a story) told in reverse. What does he mean by that, and what is the effect of this approach when you hear the song?

In “All Along the Watchtower”, in the beginning the readers are presented starts with a conflict within a joker, telling another character, or thief, about his conflict. We leave the understanding of their conversation to a more general setting. When I listen to the song, the meaning of the lyrics changes but not the music its self. Some characters are described and the story ends with a very general action, apparently leaving us guessing if our first two characters are the ones approaching that general setting. When you know that the lyrics meaning are changing but the music isn’t it keeps you guessing.
2. How would you describe the setting of the song? Do you think it takes place in modern times, Biblical times, the Old West, or someplace else entirely?
The sounds of the music most likely suggest that this song takes place in the modern times, such as the Old West. Also Dylan’s tone of voice is like the cherry on the cake, it gives a more definite meaning. But when listening to the lyrics, that maybe this song was from an older time period, such as the medieval period. A time when there was great social inequity and mutiny wasn’t uncommon. The watchtower suggests that maybe those princes with their servants lived in a castle, and that the joker and the thief were not very respected or compensated.
3. The thief tells the joker that although they used to believe that life was a joke, they have since passed through that phase. What do you think it means to consider life to be a joke, and is it a bad thing? Do the people in the watchtower think life is a joke?
To think life to be a joke is to firmly hard to believe, you would want to live life like it’s your

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