Hit Song Man in the Mirror: a Declaration for Self-Improvement and Changing the World

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Man In The Mirror

Written and composed by Siedah Garret and Glen Ballard. Performed by Michael Jackson, Featuring Siedah Garret, The Winans and The Andrae Crouch Choir.

Man In The Mirror is a former number one single performed by musical pop sensation Michael Jackson. The theme of the song is easy to pick up when you have a look at the chorus “I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways. And no message could have been any clearer. If you wanna make the world a better place. Take a look at yourself and make a change.” The theme of the song clearly incorporates the idea that all wide scale change (changing world and changing perspective) stems from self change.

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How is change within an individual or group explored in the text? (How does language shape the meaning?)

The song explores change within an individual by utilizing various language techniques including rhyme, writer’s purpose, tone and also other techniques such as audio techniques and solutions to pre-mentioned problems. The aspect of self-change within this text is obvious as the text explores the concept that most large-scale change stems from change within an individual. The text informs the reader that by starting with yourself and altering your own ways you can influence others and even the world and “make the world a better place”.

The writers and composers of Man In The Mirror (Siedah Garret and Glen Ballard) use rhyme throughout the text, in order to make the song flow well when performed. “That there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan. Could it be really me, pretending that they’re not alone?” This quote proves that when the song is rhymes and flows well, it makes learning the lyrics a lot easier and therefore the audience understands the message of the song. Ryme helps the audience get the message, and therefore helps the song writers achieved their purpose.

The writer’s purpose in this piece is to inform their audience that if one changes oneself they can make a difference in the world, hence inspire people to change their ways to “make the world a better place”.

The tone felt throughout the text is one of inspirational qualities. “It’s gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference. Gonna make it right.” This line is inspiring to the audience as it makes them feel like they can change and make a difference to the world. This tone is constant throughout the text.

Throughout the song (when listened to) there are many audio techniques. The performers and composers of Man In The Mirror work in contrast and contribute to the songs inspirational feeling. The uses various pitches of notes and when performed by Michael Jackson they give an uplifting inspirational effect.

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