Song Analysis of Escape by Rupert Holmes


In the pop song Escape, Rubert Holmes utilizes the literary strategies of irony and a first-person point of view to characterize the speaker as an individual who is unable to communicate with his wife and is fatigued of his current relationship which ultimately illustrates the theme that communication is the key to maintaining a healthy and virtuous relationship.  

To demonstrate that communication is crucial for a successful relationship, Holmes utilizes irony to convey that the speaker's relationship could have been salvaged had he simply talked to his wife. He illustrates this by saying, "I knew her smile in an instant...it was my own lovely lady.” The irony in this situation is that the speaker was searching for a new relationship with a woman he read about in the paper and was excited to meet her until he learned it was his wife. The irony of this encounter is one that could have been avoided had the speaker and his wife shared their feelings with each other and that is what Holmes wants the reader to comprehend. The problem with many relationships in our current society is that communication is lacking, and it results in affairs being committed which hurts both people in the relationship. This level of miscommunication was on display in the tv show 9-1-1 when Athena and Michael failed to talk with one another and be honest about their beliefs and feelings which resulted in a divorce. Athena and Michael and the speaker and his wife both forfeited a vibrant and meaningful relationship due to the fact they were too nervous to tell their significant other that they wanted something different. Holmes later goes onto sing, "Yes I like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain." This line demonstrates situational irony because the speaker and his wife had been together for a while and never knew what the other person liked yet they believed they knew everything about each other and grew bored because of it. A five-minute conversation could have revealed that they both enjoyed drinking piña colada’s and getting caught in the rain and knowing that could’ve created a rejuvenating day for their relationship as they could have done those two things together and created a memory they would never forget. It’s small talk like that that could’ve gone a long way in their relationship and that is what Holmes wants the reader to understand. The speaker is characterized as a man who is searching for a woman to bring excitement back into his life and this leads to irony occurring instead. 

Throughout the song, Holmes utilized a first-person point of view to allow the listener to gain a greater understanding of how the speaker views his relationship and how it could've been saved had he and his wife communicated.  He conveys this by saying, "I was tired of my lady, we’d been together too long." This line gives the listener the speaker’s perspective of his relationship and it provides a reason for the speaker wanting an affair. For the speaker to be characterized, there would need to be a line that explicitly provides characterization and this line adds to that. He is tired of being in the relationship as he isn’t having fun and no longer finds it exciting and the first person point of view allows the reader to understand that. It’s very difficult to find exciting things to do in a relationship when you’ve been with someone for so long and that is the problem that the speaker is encountering. It has gotten to the point where they believe they’ve done everything there is to do and instead of using communication to brainstorm and figure out what they haven’t done, they’ve decided to deceive each other. Holmes later sings, "But me and my old lady had fallen into the same old dull routine." This line allows the listener to further understand why the speaker wants to partake in an affair. He believes that nothing is changing in his relationship and that it is becoming too predictable which is a challenge in any relationship. This sort of challenge was on full display in the book On The Come Up in which Bri and Malik were in a relationship until it became too boring and predictable which led Malik to delve into another relationship. It is this sort of challenge that demonstrates how important communicating is when it comes to maintaining a healthy relationship. Had Bri and Malik and the speaker and his wife communicated and worked through their problems then neither of their relationships would have failed. The first person point of view puts the speaker’s thoughts on full display and it allows the listener to further understand why he wants to follow up on the newspaper ad and find a new woman to love and cherish.

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