Jeremy by Pearl Jam

1480 Words6 Pages
Many of today’s music videos are either less than imaginative or almost entirely unrelated to the song, the video for Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" is both fully realized and important. It’s a grim fairy tale about individuality, abuse, and suicide. The subject of the video is not glorified or sensationalized, rather, it is a way of pointing out an important issue that goes in depth in the causes and effects concerning its story. In the video, a young boy named Jeremy is at first shown to be a creative and, maybe a bit introverted, a somewhat happy and care-free kid. He is, in fact, an artist living in his own blissful little world. However, the video goes on to show how he is neglected by his parents and abused by his kids at school, and how this damages him psychologically. The video ends with a screenshot of blood-spattered, students as still as statues, after Jeremy (standing in front of the classroom), shot himself in the head. In dramatizing Jeremy's sad demise, the video shows the idealized fantasy world television creates with its unrealistic portrayals of eternally happy families, and such "traditional family values" as conservatism, puritan work ethics, and disciplined obedience. "Jeremy" starts out by misleadingly creating a somewhat happy setting. "3:30 in the afternoon..64 degrees and affluent suburb" flashes occasionally on the screen and then the camera cuts to a picture of a kid-sized chalkboard swinging by the strings from where it hangs. As the picture closes in on the blackboard and fades into a shot of Jeremy in the woods, it gives the impression that we are entering a happy fairy tale, and that impression lasts for some time. Jeremy seems happy, his isolated world seems blissful, and the music is lively. The shots of the video are faithful to the sunny images that evoke in the song lyrics: "drawing pictures..of mountaintops..with him on

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