The Simple Gift and Related Text ‘Prisoner of Society’ by The Living End
Belonging is a complex and multifaceted notion, with many dynamics determining the feeling of inclusion.   To each individual, belonging has a different meaning and it is shown through their mannerism or habitat. “The Simple Gift” by Steven Herrick deals with the concept of belonging through focus on characters with diverse social situations and expressing their emotions concerning self-identity and surroundings. Similar concepts of belonging are brought out in the song “Prisoner of Society” by The Living End. Both texts encompass the idea of belonging to society through conformity and entertain notion of belonging through rebelling against societal norms.
The words that are sung by the character reveal that he belongs to a faction who chooses not to belong. Throughout the song, he constantly repeats ‘we’, indicating that he is speaking on behalf of his generation, who do not want to belong to the adults of the older generation. He does not want to be governed by these people and be told what to do. This song is mostly composed of repetition which elucidates the message that each line presents. Ending the song, the word ‘society’ is repeated eight times and emphasized greatly, highlighting the primary discrepancies between ‘them’ and ‘society’. It is used to show that they are subject to the laws of the society they live in, and the authoritarians who control it. The composer compares two different times to show the changes that have occurred during the time between. “… Generation gap … past is in your head … futures in our hands”. This is directed towards the adults because the teenagers understand that everything changes with the progression of time. They know that the past remains unchangeable, and when the adults are becoming the elderly, the teenagers will determine the future the gap in the generations is where the adults retire and the teenagers become the society which has, until now,...