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Critical Discourse Examination On Imagine British Language Essay

A song is a comparatively short musical structure for the human voice (possibly accompanied by other musical devices), which features words (lyrics). However, when we are talking about a song, we can not ignore the performer who is heading to sing the tune and make it popular. Then, when it comes to the performer, we may keep in mind a name called, John Lennon. Many surrounding the world know who John Lennon is and also his strap, The Beatles. He already became a pop star in music background. He previously written some hits that are sung over and over until now. Many of his songs were about peacefulness and war. "Imagine", that was released in 1971, is also one of is own popular hits start topic. Using a social theme and a solid message, this songs has handled many people. Therefore, this means the words that were chosen for this song work and perfectly shipped the message, so that it can touch the listeners' emotion.

The reason for this article is to execute a critical discourse analysis on "Imagine" by John Lennon using several theories. The first theory that can be used in this article is crucial linguistics by Roger Fowler, Robert Hodge, Gunther Kress, and Tony Trew. Critical linguistics considers words as a sociable practice and through which an organization can enable and pass on its ideology (Eriyanto, 2005). This theory analyzes vocabulary through two elements, that are vocabularies and grammar. This theory is convinced that a discourse can convey its ideology based on the choices of vocabularies and also the use of the grammar. Selections of vocabularies can cause few effects in a discourse such as make a classification, limited view, battle of discourse, and marginalization. On the other hands, there are several models in the grammar. Therefore, a discourse could not be neutral because the writer chooses each and every word to form this is that he/she would like to share. A discourse always conveys a certain idea or ideology to the audience.

Next, the second theory is the theory that was released by Sara Mills. She used to visit a discourse from the feminist perspective, how a girl is being family portrait in a discourse. Although, she was known more on her behalf woman's representation in a discourse, her theory methodology can be employed in other areas. If critical linguistics will examine a discourse from the terms aspects and exactly how it affected the audience, Sara Mills recognizes the positioning of the actors who perform in a discourse. At first, she compares the position between the subject and the thing. Then, she also considers the positioning of the writer and the audience.

Although using its "simplicity and clarity", "Imagine" is abundant of interpretation because anybody can have different interpretation than it. The message of the song is the fact let's create a global which is peacefulness and no conflict. This message is repeated again and again in the last part of the stanza. Within the first stanza, it is said "imagine all people, living for today", in the second stanza "imagine all the folks, living life in peace", while in the third stanza, it is said "imagine all folks, sharing all the entire world". The meaning even becomes better with the chorus part, where it is stated "the planet will be as you". Those clauses form a message to the audience which is to make an improved world. Furthermore, the repetition of the note, although in several words, but nonetheless have the same interpretation, makes the audience get this communication easier and then keep in mind it better.

The word "Imagine" itself, besides being used for the title, it also repeated several times in the melody. "Imagine" as a verb means form a picture of in the mind; think of something as possible (Hornby, Cowie, & A. C, 1974). Therefore, think about happens prior to the simple fact. "Imagine" itself has several synonyms. Then, why the writer chooses "imagine" in the long run.


Imagine : to have a picture or notion of something in your thoughts.



To think about something and form an image or idea in your thoughts regarding it.


Visualize / Visualise

To form a very clear picture of something or someone in your thoughts, especially to be able to help you put together to do something or enable you to remember something obviously.



To have a picture of something or someone in your thoughts, especially because you want to imagine what it is similar to to take action or what someone appears like.

Imagine : to assume something you want to do or want to happen


Fantasize / Fantasise

To think about something that you would like to do or that you would like to happen, especially when it is very unlikely that you will take action or that it will happen.



To spend a short while imagining something pleasurable, so that you forget where you are and what you are really doing, specially when you are bored.



To envision something pleasant that you want to or to happen, especially if it's possible that it might happen.

Table 1 : Words related to "imagine" regarding to Longman Vocabulary Activator, 2006

Every synonyms of the word "imagine" have the same meaning which is "to think about something and form picture in someone's mind". Then, why "imagine" is chosen? Because each words bears certain so this means, sense and also represents different condition, although they all have similar interpretation. "Visualize" and "picture" summarize about thinking something that has already been clear. However, we cannot feel any clarity sense from the "imagine" expression. Because of this, the term "imagine" is appropriate with the context because the problem, that was "peace", that the copy writer wanted was not clear yet and even until we notice it now, this situation remains not yet determined. Although it seems simple and easy to state, "peace" is something complicated and it will depend on who is saying it. "Peace" is an abstract condition, we cannot really define this condition with words and everyone could have different perseption about this.

Furthermore, "fantasize" and "daydream" are also not appropriate for the song framework. Both "fantasize" and "daydream" are thinking about something which has gone out of reach rather than more likely to happen, or in other words, the possibility to that event to happen

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