Essay about Hotel California: The Californian Lifestyle

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“Hotel California” by The Eagles has been the recipient of much speculation since its release in 1976. Although many other interpretations exist including some which claim this song to be referencing drugs, much evidence suggests that “Hotel California” is, at least partly, making a statement about the lifestyle of drug and alcohol users particularly in the large cities of California. As with many songs, duality of meaning exists in “Hotel California.” Since “Hotel California” debuted in the seventies, one can understand why the topic would be Californian drug-using lifestyle. “The scare tactics of the 1960s gave way to the contradictory messages of the late '70s and early '80s. Drugs became glamorous, without becoming better understood”…show more content…
After examining the whole song, one can guess that the song makes the claim that marijuana is a drug that allows easy passage to worse drugs. According to “a 1969 Gallup poll, only 4% of American adults said they had tried marijuana. Thirty-four percent said they didn't know the effects of marijuana, but 43% thought it was used by many or some high school kids” (Robison); therefore, many individuals might not understand that marijuana, as many claim today, leads to usage of more harmful substances. The speaker then sees a shimmering light as if he is about to die which signifies the death of an old life and the birth of a new one. The temptation of drugs becomes too strong, so the speaker has to stop at the Hotel California. The mission bell that sounds contrasts so with the topic of this song that the bell must symbolize the perversion of life by the drug-use in California and elsewhere. “This could be Heaven or this could be Hell,” furthers the idea of the death of an old life. Here, the speaker does not really know whether or not his or her new life is going to be enjoyable in the end. As it turns out, the speaker's new life is hell. Then she lights up a candle, or perhaps a joint since the place most likely has electricity in the seventies, and shows the speaker the way. Perhaps the woman is a drug-dealer or a prostitute; ether one could lead a person to a lifestyle full of drugs and alcohol. “Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends,” (The Eagles)
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