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Final Exam American Literature, Spring 2015

Mr. Smith
Vienna (3:32)
Words and music by Billy Joel
Slow down you crazy child
You're so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you're so smart tell me
Why are you still so afraid?
Where's the fire, what's the hurry about?
You better cool it off before you burn it out
You got so much to do and only
So many hours in a day
But you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want
Or you can just get old
You're gonna kick off before you even get halfway through
When will you realize Vienna waits for you?
Slow down you're doing fine
You can't be everything you want to be
Before your time
Although it's so romantic on the borderline tonight
Too bad but it's the life you lead
You're so ahead of yourself
That you forgot what you need
Though you can see when you're wrong
You know you can't always see
When you're right, you're right
You got your passion you got your pride
But don't you know that only fools are satisfied?
Dream on but don't imagine they'll all come true
When will you realize
Vienna waits for you?
Slow down you crazy child
Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while
It's alright you can afford to lose a day or two
When will you realize
Vienna waits for you?
And you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want
Or you can just get old
You're gonna kick off before you even get halfway through
Why don't you realize Vienna waits for you?
When will you realize Vienna waits for you?
Movin Out (Anthonys Song) (3:28)
Words and music by Billy Joel [and featuring
Henry David Thoreau on motorcycle]
Anthony works in the grocery store
Savin' his pennies for someday
Mama Leone left a note on the door
She said, Sonny, move out to the country
Workin' too hard can give you
A heart attackackackackackack
You oughta know by now
Who needs a house out in Hackensack?
Is that all you get for your money?
And it seems such a waste of time

If that's what it's all about


Mama, if that's movin' up, then I'm movin' out.
Mmm, I'm movin' out. Ooh-hoo, uh-huh, mmmm
Sergeant O'Leary is walkin' the beat
At night he becomes a bartender
He works at Mister Cacciatore's down
On Sullivan Street
Across from the medical center
Yeah and he's tradin' in his Chevy for a Cadillacacacacacacacac
You oughta know by now
And if he can't drive
With a broken back
At least he can polish the fenders
And it seems such a waste of time
If that's what it's all about
Mama, if that's movin' up then I'm movin' out.
Mmm, I'm movin' out. Ooh-hoo, uh-huh, mmmm
You should never argue with a crazy mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mind
You oughta know by now
You can pay Uncle Sam with the overtime
Is that all you get for your money?
And if that's what you have in mind
yeah if that's what you're all about
Good luck movin' up 'cause I'm movin' out.
Mmm, I'm movin' out. Ooh-hoo, uh-huh, mmmm
I'm movin' out...
Scenes from an Italian Restaurant (7:33)
Words and music by Billy Joel
A bottle of white, a bottle of red
Perhaps a bottle of ros instead
We'll get a table near the street
In our old familiar place
You and I - face to face
A bottle of red, a bottle of white
It all depends upon your appetite
I'll meet you any time you want
In our Italian restaurant.
Things are okay with me these days
I got a good job, I got a good office
Got a new wife, got a new life
And the family is fine
We lost touch long ago
You lost weight. I did not know
you could ever look so nice after so much time.
Do you remember those days hanging out at the village green?
Engineer boots, leather jackets and tight blue jeans
Drop a dime in the box play a song about New Orleans
Cold beer, hot lights, my sweet romantic teenage nights
Brenda and Eddie were the popular steadies
And the king and the queen of the prom
Riding around with the car top down and the radio on
Nobody looked any finer
Or was more of a hit at the Parkway Diner
We never knew we could want more than that out of life
Surely Brenda and Eddie would always know how to survive.
Brenda and Eddie were still going steady in the summer of '75
When they decided the marriage would be at the end of July

Everyone said they were crazy


"Brenda you know that you're much too lazy
and Eddie could never afford to live that kind of life."
Oh, but there we were wavin' Brenda and Eddie goodbye.

Now Paul is a real estate novelist


Who never had time for a wife
And he's talkin' with Davy, who's still in the Navy
And probably will be for life

Well they got an apartment with deep pile carpets


And a couple of paintings from Sears
A big waterbed that they bought with the bread
They had saved for a couple of years
They started to fight when the money got tight
And they just didn't count on the tears.

And the waitress is practicing politics


As the businessmen slowly get stoned
Yes, they're sharing a drink they call loneliness
But it's better than drinkin' alone

Well, they lived for a while in a very nice style


But it's always the same in the end
They got a divorce as a matter of course
And they parted the closest of friends
Then the king and the queen went back to the green
But you could never go back there again.
Brenda and Eddie had had it already by the summer of '75
From the high to the low to the end of the show
For the rest of their lives
They couldn't go back to the greasers
The best they could do was pick up their pieces
We always knew they would both find a way to get by
Oh that's all I heard about Brenda and Eddie
Can't tell you more 'cause I've told you already
And here we are wavin' Brenda and Eddie goodbye.
A bottle of reds, a bottle of whites
Whatever kind of mood you're in tonight
I'll meet you anytime you want
In our Italian restaurant.
Piano Man (5:36)
Words and music by Billy Joel
It's nine o'clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in
There's an old man sitting next to me
Makin' love to his tonic and gin
He says, "Son, can you play me a memory
I'm not really sure how it goes
But it's sad and it's sweet and I knew it complete
When I wore a younger man's clothes."
la la la, di da da
La la, di di da da dum
Chorus:
Sing us a song, you're the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well, we're all in the mood for a melody
And you've got us all feelin' all right
Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
He gets me my drinks for free
And he's quick with a joke and he'll light up your smoke
But there's some place that he'd rather be
He says, "Bill, I believe this is killing me!"
As the smile ran away from his face
"Well, I'm sure that I could be a movie star
If I could get out of this place"
Oh, la la la, di da da
La la, di da da da dum

Chorus
sing us a song you're the piano man
sing us a song tonight
well we're all in the mood for a melody
and you got us all feeling all right
It's a pretty good crowd for a Saturday
And the manager gives me a smile
'Cause he knows that it's me they've been comin' to see
To forget about life for a while
And the piano, it sounds like a carnival
And the microphone smells like a beer
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
And say, "Man, what are you doin' here?"
Oh, la la la, di da da
La la, di da da da dum
Chorus:
sing us a song you're the piano man
sing us a song tonight
well we're all in the mood for a melody
and you got us all feeling all right
The Logical Song (4:07)
Songwriters: Richard Davies, Roger Hodgson, and Jorge
Martinez
When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful, a miracle,
it was beautiful, magical
And all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happily,
joyfully, playfully, watching me
But then they sent me away, to teach me how to be sensible, logical,
responsible, practical
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,
clinical, intellectual, cynical
There are times when all the world's asleep
The questions run too deep for such a simple man
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned?
I know it sounds absurd, but please tell me who I am
I said, Now, watch what you say, theyll be calling you
A radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal
Won't you sign up your name? We'd like to feel you're acceptable,
respectable, presentablea vegetable!
But at night, when all the world's asleep
The questions run so deep for such a simple man
Won't you please (Won't you tell me?)
please tell me what we've learned (Can you hear me?)
I know it sounds absurd, (Won't you help me?)
please tell me who I am
Who I am
Who I am
Who I am!

Portraits hung in empty halls


Frameless heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can't forget
Like the strangers that you've met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
The silver thorn a bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow
And now I think I know what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen
They're not listening still
Perhaps they never will

The Starry Night, by Vincent Van Gogh


Vincent (4:03)
By Don Maclean
Starry starry night
Paint your palette blue and grey
Look out on a summer's day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land
And now I understand what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen
They did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now
Starry starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of China blue
Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand
Now I understand what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen
They did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now
For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left in sight
On that starry starry night
You took your life as lovers often do
But I could have told you, Vincent
This world was never meant for one
As beautiful as you
Starry starry night

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted? (4:02)


By Jimmy Ruffin
As I walk this land of broken dreams
I have visions of many things
Loves happiness is just an illusion
Filled with sadness and confusion
What becomes of the brokenhearted
Who had love that's now departed
I know I've got to find
Some kind of peace of mind, maybe
The fruits of love grow all around
But for me they come tumbling down
Every day heartaches grow a little stronger
I can't stand this pain much longer
I walk in shadows searching for light
Cold and alone, no comfort in sight
Hoping and praying for someone who'll care
Always moving but going nowhere
What becomes of the brokenhearted
Who had love that's now departed
I know I've got to find
Some kind of peace of mind, maybe
I'm searching though I don't succeed
But someone else has a growing need
All is lost, there's no place for beginnings
All that's left is an unhappy ending
Now what becomes of the brokenhearted
Who had love that's now departed
I know I've got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
I'll be searching everywhere
Just to find someone to care
I'll be looking every day
I know I'm gonna find a way
Nothing's gonna stop me now
I'll find a way somehow
Got to find it
Got to find it
Got to find it
Oh, Im searching
Got to find it
Got to find it

Got to find it
Oh, Im searching
Got to find it
I need to find it
Got to find it
Oh, Im searching
(I need a love to call my own)
Love to find it
(I been on my own too long)
Love to find it
Got to find it
Oh, Im searching
(I need to find love,
Im in the world all alone
Ive been searching everywhere
Oh, Ive got to find a way)

Instructions:
Throughout this class, we have used traditional literature and
other texts to explore ideas. We have used songs, films, radio
shows, and our own personal stories. We have created
hypothetical thought problems, analogies, and anecdotes to
examine a multitude of issues from various perspectives.
Always, we have sought to listen to and contribute to the
conversation on a given topic or issue.
For this exam, I have chosen several songs and a painting that
should help you reconsider and reflect upon some of the ideas
explored in our study of transcendentalism, the novel The
Catcher in the Rye, and the films Dead Poets Society and
Edward Scissorhands.
Obviously, the texts in this exam were not created with
transcendentalism, the novel, and the films in mind. But they
were written by people who were thinking about some of the
same themes and who expressed their own ideas about those
themes. Since they explore similar issues, they can help us
understand those issues more fully. So the point here is not to
merely identify similarities and correlations, or to be amused
by startling coincidences, or to list the things in the songs that
remind us of things in the texts. The point, instead, is to dive
beneath the surface and go deeper, to use these songs to
enhance our understanding of the texts by considering the
contributions of other viewpoints and treatments of the same
topics.
In your responses, be careful not to speculate or merely
summarize or list. JUSTIFY AND SUPPORT YOUR
OPINIONS WITH REAL ANALYSIS. Quotes and text
references alone are not analysis. Think: Claim, Evidence,
Warrant! You may use the texts and your notes.

So:
Choose one question from prompts A and B, and one
question from prompts C through J, below.
Write 1 - 2 pages total, with neither response being less
than a real, well-developed, and thoughtful half-page.
Neatness and readability count.

Prompts:
A) Explain what the song What Becomes of the
Brokenhearted helps you to understand about
Holden and his central conflict regarding
redemption, his various problems, and getting his
life underway. You may want to consider how the
book and the song help us to understand why the
question of what becomes of the brokenhearted is
even important. Who needs to know what becomes
of them, and why? You may also reference other
texts from class, of course.
B) What do the film Edward Scissorhands and the
song Vincent (and perhaps the painting The
Starry Night) combine to say about the role and
value of the artist in our society? You may wish to
consider some of the following questions to help you
with your response: What does the book The Catcher
in the Rye have to say about the role and value of the
artist? Are Edwards scissorhands loving, like
Vincent Van Goghs? Are Vincents hands cutting,
like Edwards? Who are the they who dont listen?
What are they not hearing? What is meant by
suffering for your sanity as an artist, and how does
the idea apply to Edward or Holden? What are the
costs or hardships of being an artist? What defines or
characterizes an artistic sensibility? Where does it
come from or how is it formed? You may also
reference other texts from class, such as A & P, or
ideas from transcendentalism.

Prompts, continued:
Show your understanding of transcendentalism by
analyzing and discussing Dead Poets Society AND any
song in this examEXCEPT Vincent and
Brokenheartedwithin the context of any one of
issues (C J). You may use other texts in addition:
C) The transcendentalist view of materialism.
D) Struggling to choose between our values and our
stuff.
E) Living out a life by dead reckoning vs. living
deliberately according to Thoreau or Emerson.
F) Living in want of calculation and a worthy aim,
as discussed in Walden.
G) Living a life that is frittered away by detail, as
discussed in Walden.
H) The metaphorical stories of the rising river or the
bug in the Conclusion section of Walden
I) Obedience to the Over-Soul.

J) Any ONE transcendentalist element of your


choice. (Be sure to clearly identify the element.)

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