Candle In The Wind


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Candle In The Wind

  1. 1. Performed by Elton John<br />Written by Bernie Tauplin<br />Candle In The Wind<br />
  2. 2.       She was the "it girl". The woman everyone wanted to know about. Women wanted to be her and men wanted to be with her. Magazines raved her name and flaunted her sexy pictures every chance they got. The spotlight shined brighter on her angel face and exploited her all the more as her fame steadily rose to the top. She seemed to have it all, right? Wrong. Marilyn Monroe's life consisted of more than just fame and fortune. Beneath that bleach blond hair and stunning blue eyes, there was a real live person dying to be seen as something more.<br /> Elton John's song "Candle in the Wind", first released in 1973 (Candle, par. 5), tells of the struggle Marilyn Monroe faced throughout her life. She lived in a world of "perfect housewives" who stayed at home and cooked and cleaned for their families (A Woman's, p. 1).  While all of America fell in love with her acting, she fell into a pit of depression and loneliness. She had affairs with political super powers, went through a short period of institutionalization, and had a major pill problem which eventually led to her death in 1962 (Pollick, par. 1-5). Elton John wanted to honor Marilyn Monroe's legacy. He captivated her seclusion in this beautifully haunting song.<br />
  3. 3. For someone to be described as a candle in the wind, they must burn with a passion unlike any other and meet incredible resistance from people who are threatened by their individuality. The word candle is used many times in the song. "And it seems to me you lived your life like a candle in the wind," ("Candle" lines 9-10). This line describes Marilyn's life as being a constant struggle. When Elton John says, "your candle burned out long before your legend ever did" ("Candle" lines 15-16), he is saying that her life ended but her tale lives on. Also repeated numerous times is the line, "Goodbye Norma Jean." This line has Marilyn's birth name, something people never called her. It shows that 'Marilyn Monroe' was just a fake person, a sex symbol. Norma Jean was a real, multi-dimensional person with thoughts, feelings, and problems. Elton John wanted to show that Marilyn Monroe, the symbol, will live on but Norma Jean, the person, has died. In the song, it says, “you had the grace to hold yourself” ("Candle" line 3). There is also a line, emphasized by alliteration, that says, "who sees you as something more than sexual" ("Candle" line 31). In both of these lines, it shows a deep respect for Marilyn Monroe that Elton John had. Some people just thought of her as a Playboy model while some people saw her as a woman with dignity and grace. Later in the song, when it says, "all the papers had to say was that Marilyn was found in the nude" ("Candle" line 23), it shows that some people refused to see her as a real person. She was just a celebrity with no feelings; a robot. The media was obsessed with Marilyn and her latest scandals and Elton John wanted to show that in his song. By including that line it is like he's blaming the media for her death.<br /> The tone of the song is filled with remorse and sadness. This is shown in the first two lines of the song where it says, “Goodbye Norma Jean, though I never knew you” ("Candle" lines 1-2). These lines are laced with grief because Elton John never got to meet Marilyn Monroe even though he obviously had immense respect for her. The whole song is filled with distress because the world lost someone with a flame inside of them; the graceful and secretly troubled Marilyn Monroe. <br />
  4. 4.       The famous woman once admired by many, Marilyn Monroe was born June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California. Norma Jean was her original name, but she later adopted the Hollywood name, Marilyn. As a child, Marilyn grew up in many different orphanages and never really had supportive family figures in her life. As a young adult, her ability to light up a room was discovered; the camera loved her. David Conover described her as a "photographer's dream" (Biography, par. 5). Naturally, after realizing the kind of attention she received from the media, she became addicted to the Hollywood life. She wanted to be loved like she had never felt as a little girl. Marilyn once stated, "I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else“ (Quotes, par. 29). Within two years, Marilyn's modeling career had sky rocketed, being featured on the cover of the most popular magazines was just one of many accomplishments.<br />
  5. 5. Along with her success and newly found fame came a great amount of heartache. Without a father growing up, Marilyn looked for men to love her like her father would have. Throughout her short life, she had multiple different relationships and marriages. She even had an affair with President Kennedy and his brother, Robert. (Pollick, par. 5). Each love story did not have the happy ending she was desiring. Marilyn's sexual image put a strain on her relationships and was often the blame for separation. Learning how to handle society's pressures and the harsh reality of this material life was not easy for her. Marilyn shared her feelings on this topic when she stated, " People... feel fame gives them some kind of privilege to walk up to you and say anything to you- and it won't hurt your feelings- like its happening to your clothing" (Quotes, par. 24). Shockingly, on August 5th, 1962 Marilyn Monroe buckled underneath the constant pressure of society and committed suicide. Although she chose to end her life, Marilyn Monroe is still today a great role model to those "who strive to overcome personal obstacles for the goal of achieving greatness” (Biography, par. 15). Marilyn Monroe is truly an inspiration.<br />
  6. 6.      The first half of the twentieth century was a time of suppression, idealism, and basically outright disrespect for women. Marilyn Monroe lived during this time and endured the expectations of women to be perfect in every shape and form. The time centered around women being an accessory for men instead of a lifelong partner. According to, during the 1950's society women were supposed to be caring mothers, diligent homemakers, and an obedient wives (A Woman's Role in the 1950's, par. 1). This obviously wasn't going to appeal to independent women who wanted their own careers, such as Marilyn Monroe.  Several shows however continued to stress these expectations. A fifties show called "Pleasantville" told of how women were to be perfect in nearly every aspect. They were never to question their husbands or displease them in any way. They also were always to look fresh and appealing to their men (A Woman's , par. 7). The show "I Love Lucy" portrayed women as helpless individuals who desperately needed their husbands to bail them out. The show also had references to women being over spenders and  the downfall of man (par. 1).  Marilyn was forced to marry her first husband Jim Dougherty in an arranged marriage planned by her mother and step-father (John, par. 4). This is just one example of the lack of respect shown to women. Marilyn divorced Jim Dougherty and chose to pursue her career dreams despite adversity.<br />
  7. 7. This cultural climate began to change into a critical political time period when World War 2 came about.  Men were being used to fight in the war and their jobs were left to be filled by women. Marilyn contributed to the World War 2 effort when she went to work on an assembly line in Burbank, California.  It was here where she was first discovered when a news reporter came to photograph the "women of the war" (Biography, par. 5). Marilyn’s life changed because of this war. <br />
  8. 8. Aside from the war during Marilyn Monroe's life, the rest of the political climate was based upon the presidency of John F. Kennedy. Marilyn began meeting with Kennedy in 1961 and fell madly in love with him. Their affair was hidden at all costs because of his high status he had to maintain as president.  According to, a possible cause of her death was related to how much she knew regarding Kennedy's politics (, par. 12). It is scary to think that the same person who was responsible for being the love of her life could have also been the cause of the end of it.<br />
  9. 9.       In the Hollywood industry, scandal, gossip, and suicide are quite common. Not much has changed since the rise of Marilyn Monroe. The paparazzi is infamous for harassment and magazines are notorious for their slander. Britney Spears, a train wreck of a celebrity, is constantly in the media. According to, Britney Spears makes deals with the paparazzi and tells them where she will be at certain times. In return, she gets a cut of the sales for certain magazines (Gilbert, par. 5). People today can get famous for anything, even bad things. They often buy publicity to get their ten minutes of fame. It's said that paparazzi shouldn't be punished for their actions because celebrities seek them out (Gilbert, par. 5). A good example of celebrities who chase the press are Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt. Many celebrities today are desperate for fame while Marilyn Monroe was trying to get away from the spotlight.<br />
  10. 10.      Sex symbols; confident and undeniably sexy. Many women in history have been labeled as a sex-symbol and Playboy has helped with launching women's careers for many years. Marilyn Monroe posed for a nude calendar in 1949. That picture soon became the photograph used for the first Playboy magazine (Doll, par. 3). After that, people refused to see Marilyn as more than an object. Marilyn said, "Being a sex-symbol is a heavy load to carry, especially when one is tired, hurt and bewildered" (Quotes, par. 7). The pressure definitely took a toll on Marilyn but she never let the public know. Celebrities today have to go through the same thing. The stress to be sexy can be overwhelming and lead to depression and sometimes suicide, which is still common today.<br />
  11. 11.      Suicide seems like it's getting more common in the United States today. It was the eleventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2001 (Caruso, par. 5). Marilyn Monroe's death was tragic and unfortunately, many other people suffer the same fate. About 30,000 people died in 2001 from suicide. That's one suicide every 17 minutes (Caruso, par. 1). Although decades have passed since Marilyn's infamous suicide, other celebrities have suffered the same fate. Legends such as Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain also took their own lives. Suicide is a persistent problem and it affects many people of all ages in the United States.<br />1926 - 1962<br />
  12. 12.      The song "Candle in the Wind" is a message to people about the pressures of society and the toll it can take on people. It's also a way to remember the legend of Marilyn Monroe. She was intelligent, confident, and carried herself with grace. Although her life was cut short, she's still a role model for many people today. She wasn't afraid to show off her body and she wasn't afraid to be labeled as a plus sized model. Elton John captured the sadness of her life in his song and the hauntingly beautiful melody will continue to play for years to come.<br />
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  14. 14. "I believe that everything happens for a reason. <br />People change so that you can learn to let go, <br />things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, <br />you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, <br />and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together." <br />