“Imagine” and Romanticism

Imagine” by John Lennon is his highest-sold single after his departure from The Beatles. In the song, Lennon emphasizes the necessity of peace, love, and acceptance in a world full of conflict and division. He intended for this song to inspire people around the world and give them hope for a better future. Lennon’s “Imagine” is full of imagery, repetition, and symbolism, allowing listeners to perfectly picture the possibilities this world has to offer and reiterate his wishes.

Lennon repeated the same lines in stanzas 5 and 8, stating, “You may say I’m a dreamer/But I’m not the only one/I hope someday you’ll join us/And the world will be as one.” He takes his position on the issue and understands the difference of opinions, however, in the third line he calls for people to join him, which will ultimately bring everyone together. 

As the romantic era broke from conventional standards, the song “Imagine” does as well. The line, “Imagine there’s no heaven” broke from the norms of society by challenging the worldview that maybe Christianity isn’t true, and after death there is nothing. This was especially controversial in the 1970s when the song was released. 

Furthermore, imagination is the center of the song. I mean, the song is called Imagine. Romanticism values imagination over logic, and the song asks the reader to imagine a different world, one that will never exist. While that may not be the most reasonable thing to do, Lennon values the idea of this ideal world, despite the fact that it is basically impossible. 

Freedom from rules is another romantic ideal embodied through the song. “Imagine there’s no countries” is an example of Lennon envisioning society with the lack of rules that exist currently. Countries are a rule, there is a set of laws and a government with each country, and for there to be no countries would break away from rules.

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