Research Publication Title

Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence": A Narrative Paradigm's Approach

Presenter Information

Alexandria StarksFollow

Major

Rhetoric

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Amy Burt amy.burt@gcsu.edu

Keywords

ascribe, narrative coherence, narrative fidelity, narrative paradigm, open narrative

Abstract

The song “The Sound of Silence” performed by Simon & Garfunkel hit the top of the Billboard Charts within the first two weeks of its debut in 1965. For over half a century this song has remained popular. Recently, a cover of the song was produced by the band Disturbed, peaking at number eighty-eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and maintaining number nine on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs Chart for several weeks in 2018. In this paper, I explain the popularity of this song through Walter Fisher’s theory of the Narrative Paradigm, using YouTube viewer comments identifying the audience’s emotions, experiences, and ascribed contextual meaning of the song. YouTube viewers comprise the ideal audience for the song as explained by Fisher. In this paper, I examine how narrative coherence and narrative fidelity affected the audience’s connection and interpretation of the lyrics. I investigate how the audience uses their experiences in life to create their own meaning of the song.

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Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence": A Narrative Paradigm's Approach

The song “The Sound of Silence” performed by Simon & Garfunkel hit the top of the Billboard Charts within the first two weeks of its debut in 1965. For over half a century this song has remained popular. Recently, a cover of the song was produced by the band Disturbed, peaking at number eighty-eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and maintaining number nine on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs Chart for several weeks in 2018. In this paper, I explain the popularity of this song through Walter Fisher’s theory of the Narrative Paradigm, using YouTube viewer comments identifying the audience’s emotions, experiences, and ascribed contextual meaning of the song. YouTube viewers comprise the ideal audience for the song as explained by Fisher. In this paper, I examine how narrative coherence and narrative fidelity affected the audience’s connection and interpretation of the lyrics. I investigate how the audience uses their experiences in life to create their own meaning of the song.