Americans Ian Songs Relevant Today

Decent Essays
1. Janis Ian wrote this song over 25 years ago. Are there themes in her lyrics that were only present in 1975, or are they present now as well? Do you think that these things will be true when the song is played in another 25 years?

I think the main idea of the song is stilll relevant. What makes the song still relavant is that it appeals to the angst and loneliness that many teenagers feel. Its themes of confidence and self-doubt are timeless and inherent in being a teenager. The idea of being married right after high school may no longer be as relevant, but the message it sends about beauty and confidence still resonates with listeners. These themes are still relevant today and they probably will be in the future as well because of the timelessness
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Only girls who will find love are “the beauty queens,” and the ugly or plain girls will never find love. She shows this by comparing a girl who is beautiful and finds a husband (or a boyfriend) and a girl who is not someone who is not and is lonely. In addition to body image and physical appearances, I think Ian is also showing some sort of “truth” about popularity being related not only to beauty but also to class; the girl who she is portraying as lonely wears “hand me downs” while the other girl was a “rich relationed hometown queen” who “married into all she needs.”
3. What is "the game" that she sings about?

Janis Ian refers to the “game” of popularity and beauty in high school. The game’s winners determine status and love throughout high school. She refers to it as a game to highlight that although it may seem important, popularity is not everything. She also refers to it as a game to show popularity and beauty is something that some people ‘win’ or lose.’ She also talks about an actual game of solitaire to show cheating solitaire (the game) is like cheating life. This is meant to show that girls will do whatever they need to be a “beauty queen” so they can succeed in life.

4. Why is she singing about age 17, rather than age 30, or 12, or any other time in one's
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