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Belonging: Travel and Word Boulevard

The song ‘boulevard of Broken Dreams’ is performed by Green Day. The song expresses a person’s struggle in finding where they belong in the journey of life. The titles of the song is ironic to what we would normally associate with the word ‘boulevard’ with something pleasant, glamorous and full of life it’s a direct contrast to what we many initially expect.

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There is no presence of life, apart from the solitary individual who walks the ‘lonely road’. The boulevard is paved with ‘broken dreams’ of darkness, of being isolated and cut off from the rest of the society ‘the city sleeps’ and not belonging to the outside world.

The notion of belonging to a place is explored in the poem 10 Mary Street by Peter Skrzynecki and in Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green day, 10 Mary Street the metaphor that marked by stability, routine and familiarity; and adapting to Australia, ‘we became citizen of soil, that was feeding us’ and in the process adjusting to their adaptive home. The song opens with the declaration ‘I walk alone’ this means that on this lonely journey that it has been the ‘only’ road that he has ‘ever known’.

Essentially the traveler is aware of his reality of being ‘alone’ and not knowing ‘where the road goes’ and that he recognizes that the boulevard has become his ‘home’. the co-relation between these two text is that over a long period of time they get used to the customs, in the song they get used to ‘I walk a lonely road, the only on that I have ever known’ the traveler adapted to the road and how the road has formed his ‘home’ also this song is about someone who wants to find a place where they belong and someone they trust, a safe place.

The notion of not belonging to a place is explored in the poem Migrant Hostel by Peter Skrzynecki and in Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green day. line 22-23 in Migrant Hostel ‘A barrier at the main gate Sealed off the highway’ illustrates the migrants feelings of being separated and alienated, as it cuts them off from the outside the world. The road represents the road to the future were they will start a new life and their new home. The barrier represents their incarceration which is ironic considering they come here or freedom. The simile in line 25 ‘As it rose and fell like a finger pointed in reprimand or shame’ illustrates that the migrants were not wanted, stresses the lack of tolerance that they encounter the criticism that faces them and their own negative shame about leaving everything behind in order to start a new life. The reprimand and shame that faces them are obstacles to their integration. As the song indicates the traveler had dreams but they have not come to fulfillment.

But instead being ‘broken’ and the boulevard which he aimlessly travels which no one knows his existence or where he belongs. In the song Boulevard of Broken Dreams not belonging to a place is expressed in the repetition of ‘I’ throughout the song emphasizes that the traveler is alone ‘I walk a lonely road’, ‘I walk this empty street’ also ‘Where the city sleeps’ demonstrates that the traveler is isolate during his journey to find his home where he belongs, being excluded from the society.

The repetition of the ‘Ah-Ah’ resonance throughout the song represents the traveler’s confusion of walking alone with the breakdown of the electric guitar in the song emphasizes that the traveler is frustrated of being segregated from the rest of the world. The frustration is emphasized as the tone consistently changes. The song highlights a sense of despair that an individual may suffer when isolated from others and when dreams fail ‘I walk alone’ confirms the traveler’s solitude and human need to walk together and to belong

The contrast of not belong to a place between Migrant Hostel and Boulevard of Broken Dreams is that they both talk about having a dream of belonging to a place, the poem illustrates that they came here to start a new life with a new home and to be free but they are incarcerated by a gate that separates them from freedom and isolation and the song demonstrates the traveler is being ignored as the ‘city sleeps’

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