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Word Count: 561
Mean Streets The subject of Bruce Springsteens Streets of Philadelphia has to do with a person walking on city streets but the theme focuses on a certain aspect of the person The poem describes how easily one can lose his or her identity when no one around knows who they are and how others do not see the neglect and abandonment towards these people Springsteen develops the theme by using poetic elements such as setting imagery and tone and feeling The setting is the streets of Philadelphia In big cities there are often thousands of people who walk the street every day Few of those people live on the streets or notice those who do Although there are very many people who live in the city it is still hard for people to find help Springsteen writes Oh brother are you gonna leave me Wastin away On the streets of Philadelphia 6 This represents a cry for help to the people that the speaker is able to see None of the people around the speaker offer a response to his cries The lack of concern towards persons who live on the city streets shows through neglect the people of the city show them Imagery helps the reader develop a good sense of what the speaker is feeling and thinking In the first stanza the image of someone who is wearing clothes that are dirty and ripped appears when the speaker describes himself as bruised and battered 1 and by saying My clothes dont fit me no more 16 The speaker says my legs felt like stone 9 allowing the reader to picture a person who seems cramped and tired Sprinegsteen produces an image so the reader can see this person and relate that to the others the reader may have seen on the streets The tone of this poem is sad and lonely Parts of this poem show the readers low self-esteem and loss of
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