Eleanor Rigby Belonging

Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles

Eleanor Rigby is a song originally written and performed by the Beatles. It is the story of two people who don’t have any contact with society, so they are labelled “the lonely people” and represent everyone who is in the situation.

The song shows that not everyone does belong anywhere or to anyone, it sings “All the lonely people, where do they all belong?” As these two people symbolise “lonely people” in general, it shows that this state of belonging is not attributed to these two mentioned only. Many people don’t belong, as illustrated by these two ‘models’.

In saying these people belonged nowhere, the song almost contradicts itself by illustrating a picture of a lonely community. It draws these two people together in the final verse where Eleanor dies and Father McKenzie walks from the grave, implying that he made a connection to her through their commonality as loners. Also by grouping such people, in the song, as “all the lonely people”, gives them, a category or group to which they belong, all though they may not be aware of such.

In Eleanor Rigby, the character after whom the song was named seems to try to mask who she really is. It sings “wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door” which implies that she is not her real self when she leaves her house. This shows that people sometimes change themselves into an unauthentic replica of what is believed to be the ‘norm’ in order to belong. It identifies the inadequacies felt by Rigby and her attempts to quell these by manipulating her persona, that she belongs, an unfamiliar notion to her.

It also sings that she “lives in a dream” which enforces her disconnection from truth and reality. She obviously does not belong in the real world, but no one can see what her ‘reality is’, for she dreams of another life, perhaps a life where she belongs. This shows how belonging can be very much in the eyes of the receiver, whether it is accurate is unimportant, so long as...