Personal Interpretation of “If You’re Gone” by Matchbox 20

Personal Interpretation of “If You’re Gone” by Matchbox 20
This lyric poem is a comment on the difficulties a couple faces when one partner doesn’t want to try to work things out, and the other does. The tone is serious and frustrated.
Not much is indicated about the speaker of the poem other than it is a person in a relationship that appears to be on the brink of a break up. The speaker in the poem is speaking to their paartner. The gender of the speaker is somewhat irrelevant, as the situation, or point of view of the speaker, is not gender specific. From listening to the lyrics, however, one is likely to assume that the speaker is male, as the lead vocals are performed by Rob Thomas. I accept this assumption, and for the purpose of simplicity will apply that gender association in my interpretation.
I think the theme of the poem is that there will be problems in a relationship if people aren’t willing to give to the relationship emotionally. Line 9 in the song, “I think you’re so mean – I think we should try”, tells us the speaker is willing to work at the relationship, but his partner is

s “mean” because she isn’t. Also, when the speaker says, “I know this is wrong, it’s a problem, I’m dealing” (line 2), we see he’s willing to deal with whatever issues he may have in order to make the relationship work.
I think the title of the poem is significant in revealing the problem in the relationship. The title is “If You’re Gone” which implies that the speaker’s not sure if his partner is really gone. This leads me to believe he’s speaking on an emotional level rather than a physical one. His girlfriend hasn’t left him yet, but she has left the relationship emotionally. The boyfriend is asking her to come back to the relationship when he suggests she, “come hoome” (line 13).
I like this song for a variety of reasons. First, I like Matchbox 20 and Rob Thomas’ voice. Second, I like the ideas behind the song and connect to it personally. I’ve been in relationships where the relationship ended because neither person was giving emotionally, and I can associate with the speaker in this song who wants to work things out.
I think I’ve already lost you I think you’re already gone. I think I’m finally scared now You th
hink I’m weak – But I think you’re wrong I think you’re already leaving Feels like your hand is on the door I thought this place was an empire Metaphor But now I’m relaxed – I can’t be sure I think you’re so mean – I think we should try I think I could need – this in my life I think I’m just scared – I think too much I know this is wrong it’s a problem I’m dealing If you’re gone – maybe it’s time to come home There’s an awful lot of breathing room Paradox But I can hardly move If you’re gone – baby you need to come home Cuz there’s a little bit of something me In everything in you I bet you’re hard to get over I bet the room just won’t shine I bet my hands I can stay here I bet you need – more than you mind I think you’re so mean – I think we should try I think I could need – this in my life I think I’m just scared – that I know too much I can’t relate and that’s a problem I’m feeling If you’re gone – maybe it’s time to come home There’s an awful lot of br
reathing room But I can hardly move If you’re gone – baby you need to come home cuz there’s a little bit of something me In everything in you I think you’re so mean – I think we should try I think I could need – this in my life I think I’m just scared – do I talk too much I know it’s wrong it’s a problem I’m dealing
Post Impressionism
For seventy years now it has been accepted practice to refer to the two decades of avant garde artistic experimention in France at the end of the last century by the term Post Impressionism. The irony of this state of affairs is that most of the artists designated by the term did not think of themselves as being ‘Post-Impressionists’ first and foremost, and probably would not even have recognized themselves under that heading. George Seurat, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Paul Cezanne, to take the four artists who create the most significant paintings during the period, were dead long before 1910 when the term was first coined. Post Impressionism was not one of those smear-words such as Impressionism or Fauvism, invented by witty French journalists on first seeing the works of the artists concerned, wo
ords which caught the public imagination and were subsequently accepted and used by the artists themselves. On the contrary, it was the invention of an academic, cultured, but exasperated English critic, Roger Fry, faced with the difficulty of presenting a haphazard exhibition of recent continental art to an inexperienced English audience. It was faute de mieux that Fry hit in 1910 upon the title ‘Manet and the Post-Impressionists.
As used by Fry, Post-Impressionisms encompassed a broad and cosmopolitan range of modern art; it grouped Cezanne and Gauguin with Picasso and Matisse, Denis and Vuillard with Gilman and Lewis. For the sake of coherence and manageability I have confined the present study to the immediate aftermath of Impressionism in France and to the rough chronological limits 1880 to 1900, but this is not to suggest that responses and reactions to Impressionism were so confined or that they came to an abrupt end as the twentieth century dawned.
Although the term Post-Impressionism has been and continues to be found useful in many respects, it is problematic and unwieldy as a style label. On the surface it does no more than date the art it covers as ‘coming after’ Impressionism. Its drawback is that it suggests a firm and purposeful avant-garde movement, caused and unified by relationship to the fixed style called Impressionism. In the light of contemporary thinking about the period, it is becoming clear that even in France such a movement never existed. Of course there were links, both at a personal and a stylistic level, between the original Impressionists and the progressive artists who succeeded them in the Paris of the 1880 and 1890s. The example of the Impressionists eight group shows, held between 1874 and 1886, may well have been the spur to the various subsequent attempts to form close-knit avant-gardes and to find a space and market for modern art. Certainly many of the freedoms the Impressionists had fought for in the 1806 and 1870s in terms of paint application, colour, choice of subject and working procedure became part of the artist’s stock in trade in the 1880. But it is misleading to see the artists of this period as drawn together before all else by their awareness of Impressionism. Other equally important factors were at work. Impressionism itself was far less of a stable entity, that could be accepted or rejected, than is usually allowed. By the 1880s its chief exponents were themselves evolving new working procedures and responding, in some degree, to the same intellectual and stylistic influences as the younger generation. They were no more immune than their successors to change in social, economic and political circumstances.
What we find, then, in Paris-based art of the late nineteenth century, is a wealth of talent, ambition, and drive to succeed, a great variety of technical and stylistic innovation, and a surfeit of theory. There were complicated personal relationship, bitter rivalries, arguments, feuds, and self-imposed exile, groupings, regroupings and secessions. Few periods offer the art historian such fascinating documentation as the inexhaustible correspondence of Pissarro, Gauguin, and Van Gogh or the perspicacious art criticism of Felix Feneon and Maurice Denis. The initial impression is a shifting and perplexing one, and in an effort not to gloss this over I have tended to make sparing and cautious use of the term Post-Impressionism. But at the same time there are dominant issues and prevailing currents beneath the chaos of events, images, and styles; and in an attempt to clarify these I have found it necessary to abandom the straightforward chronological narrative and to adopt a more flexible, thematic approach.

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