The Scarlet Letter/Juno Creative Project
For my creative piece I actually decided to focus on a couple of topics that weren’t quite discussed in class, which was “independence” and “an individuals pursuit of happiness.” When reading The Scarlet Letter, I couldn’t help but admire Hester’s ability to take her situation head on, and continue to carry herself and her child through some very rough times. From the beginning of the book she is definitely seen as an independent women. In spite of the way the townspeople see her, she soon finds liberation in the letter, which allows her to transform the meaning of the letter. In the movie, Juno, she starts off being an extremely independent person. She, as well, takes the situation head on, and decides to stay pregnant and for the most part, does not let others opinions effect her daily life. But though these two ladies were independent, they also found comfort and longing for the one they loved. I created a song about society’s cruelty and having the strength to endure their perception of right and wrong. When writing this song, I focused more on Juno, and how she had to carry the evidence with her, but also the support that she, in the end, wanted from Paulie. The song starts off saying “they were kind, for a time,” where I connected with how society treats individuals -- they can be kind, until you do something that they don’t see as the norm. With my lyrics I wanted to show that the character (or whoever might sing this song) was affected by society’s opinion, but at the same time knowing that they don’t actually understand the whole situation. Though times are hard and people are cruel, you can still be strong and be able to carry a burden without running away. But although it’s nice to be independent, having someone by your side to help support you can be a great thing.
I started my piece by picking a song that I really liked and know all the lyrics to. I originally wanted to write my own song, but then realized that I don’t play any instruments and that it would be extremely hard to come up with a tune/melody without knowing chords. So I decided to use a Mumford & Sons song and change up all of the lyrics. I wrote down some key concepts, which I thought might help with writing the song. While doing this I thought about that scene when Juno walked through the hall at her school and all of the kids just stared at her stomach and in The Scarlet Letter when Hester had to stand up on the scaffold. And while those people judged her, they still stood strong, Juno didn’t run to the bathroom and cry, and Hester didn’t just leave the town.
Unfortunately, the problem with using an existing song, is that I did have to pay attention to how many words/syllables I had in each line, or it would be sounded like I was trying to rush the song. Also, since it’s such a new song, I could not find the instrumental, and had to stick with using just my own voice (and a crappy microphone). I am also not great at writing songs, but I tried the best I could with being as poetic as possible. And I think that for never having wrote a song before, I did do a pretty good job, especially when I needed to execute a theme. I think I made it clear that in the beginning of the song, there was an obvious issue with society and was able to show a solution near the end when they are able to be strong together and they don’t have to run away, even if they don’t live my society’s expectations.
If I had to do this project all over again, I think I could have tried to pick another song, one that I could find an instrumental for, which I believe would have made the song sound a lot better. Another thing which would have been really cool to do, is to actually have learned to play the song on guitar. Though I do think it was smart for me to take an already existing melody, or I would have created something that would have absolutely been horrid (haha).