For this essay assignment, you need to choose two songs that fit under a particular culture or idea related to identity. Such cultures may include family relationships, politics, religion, gender, divorce, abuse, bullying, suicide, war, poverty, etc.
Once you have chosen the culture you want to focus on and the songs that fall in that category, you need to write an essay analyzing the songs and connecting them to a theme. A theme is a specific idea in which you are able to connect both songs to. In your analysis, you need examples of lyrics from the songs to support the points you make about them. Here are a couple of examples:
1) You might choose a selection of songs that are about California and focus on the theme that the culture in California is materialistic, if your songs support that idea.
2) You can choose songs that deal with family relationships and your theme can be how family relationships are dysfunctional.
These are just examples. You can come up with songs that have to do with a particular culture or you can choose songs that have to do with identity. Just tie the songs together with a theme in your thesis statement.
The only topics that are off limits are love and heartbreak. Not only do these topics not fall under the culture and identity theme, but they are overdone, uncreative, and these songs tend to not have too much depth to them. (However, you could, for example, focus on the love between a parent and child or the love between homosexuals since the culture you are looking at is not love. I just don’t want you writing on traditional love or heartbreak songs)
Also, keep in mind that you do not have to focus on mainstream American music. You can write about songs that come from any ethnic genre, childrenâ€™s music, musicals, etc. If you write on ethnic songs, you need to provide the English translation of the lyrics in parenthesis in your essay.