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Old 03-05-2002, 11:04 PM   #1
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A psychoanalytical analysis of Ultraviolet

I'm working on a paper for my Psychological Disorders and Adaption class. This is from my chapter on Neurosis....what do you guys think?

[edit]...oh yeah, this is a rough draft so no grammer editing please...I know there are some pretty gruelling errors in there...

Sometimes I feel like I donít know
Sometimes I feel like checking out
I wanna get it wrong
Canít always be strong
And love it wonít be long

Oh sugar
Donít you cry
Oh child
Wipe the tears from your eyes
You know I need you to be strong
And the day is as dark as the night is long
Feel like trash
You make me feel clean
Iím in the black
Canít see or be seen

You bury your treasure
Where it canít be found
But your love is like a secret
Thatís been passed around
There is a silence that comes to a house
Where no one can sleep
I guess itís the price of love
I know itís not cheap

Baby baby baby light my way

I remember
When we could sleep on stones
Now we lie together
In whispers and moans
When i was all messed up
And I heard opera in my head
Your love was a lightbulb
Hanging over my bed

Baby baby baby light my way


U2 - Ultraviolet (Light My Way)

Achtung Baby, the music album from which the above quote was taken, has been interpreted by some as ďa man messing up his secure home life by charging out into the nightís temptations.(Flanagan, 1995, p. 20). He wanders into Nighttown, seeing exactly how far he can go while still being able to get back home. In the song quoted, (Ultraviolet) the character begs his lover forgiveness after crawling home as the sun rises.
The song could however been interpreted a completely different way. In the first verse imagine a child, knees curled up to his chest, sitting on his bed in his room. Neglected by his parents, given confusing messages, he is caught in hopelessness. He tries to hang on, even though he admits that he ďfeel[s] like checking out.Ē Knowing that he needs love he tries to convince himself that he soon will experiance love.
In the second verse he is barraged by the confusing world of his parents, and he lets his depression and frustration be known, admiting that ďthe day is dark as the night is long.Ē He feels lost and invisible and searches for something, someone, to show him the way.
Seeing that no one will help guide him, no one will give him love, he decides to bury it and himself far far away where he canít be hurt. Now buried in the depths of his psyche, the anger and hurt only come in the silence of the night when he is alone with himself.
In the last verse the child is now an adult. The repression of the hurt and anger has manifested itself in a continous line of lovers, each of whom he hopes will fill the hole he feels in himself. What he has repressed is surging up from within him. He used to feel no pain when he found lovers to fill the nights. He thought that love was just a light he could turn on and off. His hurt and anger have grown over the years. Behind the mask that he wears is a man filled with self-loathing and reproachment. Unable to love himself, he searches for love in others. Even in the midst of passion he feels empty and alone.

[This message has been edited by popkidu2 (edited 03-05-2002).]
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Old 03-06-2002, 10:26 AM   #2
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I like it! One of my favorite U2 songs of all time. How are you going to fit in the bit about "opera in my head"? Also, I've always thought that the line "but your love is like a secret that's been passed around" is one of the most striking lines ever. Is it bitter? Sarcastic? Has the speaker been cheated on by his lover? Or is he jealous and suspicious? Has he been betrayed and is now afraid of intimacy? Or maybe just cynical because he knows the nature of the "love". That it's something his lover has shared with others...making the use of the word "secret" rather ironic. Just a few thoughts...

Let us know how it all turns out. I love combining U2 and intellectual/writing pursuits.

-sula
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Old 03-06-2002, 11:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
Let us know how it all turns out. I love combining U2 and intellectual/writing pursuits.

-sula
lmao!

i quoted the fly in a first year 20th century lit course that i took, 'ambition bites the nails of success' and the teacher HATED it. i think i got a c- or something-last english course ever for Dave
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Old 03-06-2002, 11:36 AM   #4
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awwww. Poor kobesan. See, I used U2 as my subject for a ten-age theology project and got an A for it. I even burned a compilation U2 CD to go along with the paper and my prof told me that his sons liked it so much, they made copies of it.
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Old 03-07-2002, 05:50 AM   #5
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I dont think ive ever quoted U2 in an essay...if theyre ever relevant to what im doing then i will.
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Old 03-07-2002, 08:02 AM   #6
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Ultraviolet was my least fave on the AB cd, but those interpretations brought a whole new meaning to and appreciation of it for me.

I must admit I had gotten most of U2's cds in one go, having only gotten totally hooked on them last year. You can only imagine how much catching up I 'needed' to do (20 years worth!). I really should take time out to analyze their lyrics.

Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
and my prof told me that his sons liked it so much, they made copies of it.
That's so cool! I wish I had been able to use U2's lyrics for analysis back in college. That would be really interesting to work on.
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Old 03-07-2002, 11:02 AM   #7
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I sometimes quote U2 at work
1
40

sorry

------------------
Salome
Shake it, shake it, shake it
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Old 03-07-2002, 07:05 PM   #8
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I think that's the beauty of U2's music in my mind. It can be interpreted so many different ways. This analysis isn't necessarily what I find the song to mean to me, but it's an interesting twist and works well as a visual for my paper...
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Old 03-07-2002, 07:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Salome:
I sometimes quote U2 at work
1
40
sorry
Oh no Salome dear, I hope you are not another bank employee...like me

popkid, I think youīre doing good, your essay is really interesting, although I also have another view of the song. But I bet youīre gonna get a good grade.
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Old 03-08-2002, 02:43 AM   #10
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Really good interpretation of an amazing song! I don't really agree with it though, because the song means something else to me due to personal occurences with it.. but no matter.
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Old 03-09-2002, 11:56 AM   #11
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Hmmm, interesting interpretation. Despite a lot that's been written, I've never thought it was about temptation and cheating along the lines of the rest of AB. To me it's more about Bono and Ali and the strain of his profession on their marriage.

The band was pretty beaten up after R&H (feel like checking out...wanna get it wrong) and there were plenty of rumours of a band break up flying around before they started on AB. I also love the line "your love is like a secret that's been passed around" which, as I see it, is how Bono wears his heart on his sleeve so boldly in his lyrics. "The price of love" is the sacrifice made to make a marriage work under the strain of touring and the temptations of that lifestyle. Of course, Ali is his ray of light but it the light is ultraviolet - good and bad. Marriage can be quite difficult no matter how much you love someone.

The clincher for the song being about Ali is the last verse congering up their early years (sleep on stones), and describing his writer's block and how she being his muse got him through it (lightbulb hanging over my bed). That was while writing for War and when they married and went on their honeymoon.

Anyway, that's how I see it from Bono's perspective. The song speaks to me and my experience in a whole different way and it's one of my favourites
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