Continual Themes and Subjects in the Work of Arcade Fire (a list)

I just posted a list, an index if you will, of every Arcade Fire song that contains a reference to light, darkness, day, night, and anything having to do with mirrors or "reflektors"

But here now is another list of common and continual themes found within their work. If you take their work as a whole it really is amazing how much the same subjects and topics and imagery keep coming up.  Sometimes I actually reference a song that contains the theme just mentioned.  In no way is every song represented in every category--there just was not time to do this.

What I find intriguing is that all these themes deserve to be looked at critically, in depth, and at a scholarly level.  We will see if I ever find the time!

1. Suburban and urban life, forming communities, and being "home" or having a "home" (I mean come on!  This theme is on every album, not just on the album called "The Suburbs". It's even on their self-titled EP.)

2. Issues with technology and modern society, especially with television screens--first isolation because of it and then the subsequent rejection of it ("No Cars Go', "Deep Blue", "Reflektor")

3. Being asleep vs. being awake (a theme found on about half of Funeral)

4. Seeing vs. being blind

5. Uses of the words "the kids" along with themes of childhood and being childlike

6. Conflicts between children and their parents, children choosing to live differently than their parents

7. Using imagery from storms, snow, oceans, rivers, water, wind, and nature in general ("Black Mirror", "Black Wave/Bad Vibrations", "Ocean of Noise", "The Well and the Lighthouse," "Half Light I", "It's Never Over (Hey Orpheus)")

8. Heaven and the Afterlife

9. Depicting Apocalyptic and Post-apocalyptic events (bombs falling and wars, as in "Black Mirror", "Windowsill", but also The Suburbs taken as an album: "The Suburbs", "City With No Children", "Half Light I & II", "Suburban Wart", "We Used to Wait")

10. Windows ("Backseat", "Windowsill", "Afterlife")

11. Bridges 

12. Dreams ("Modern Man", "Keep the Car Running", )

13. Being trapped in cages, or a prison, the cage potentially being on a stage or on television ("Antichrist Television Blues" and "My Body is a Cage", "City With No Children", "Reflektor")

14. Sins, fears, and desires ("Half Light II")

15. Death of language ("Black Mirror" and "My Body is a Cage")

16. Wearing Masks, hiding who you really are, becoming someone else ("Half Light I", "Reflektor", "Here Comes the Night Time") 

17. Time, wasting time, waiting ("We Used to Wait", "Modern Man")

18. People in flight or in exodus (found all throughout Neon Bible, The Suburbs, and Reflektor)

19. Using "noise" or "sound" as a symbol of corruption, oppression, and a loss of truth (a symbol very much related and used in tandem with symbols of light and darkness along with symbols of water [see #7 above along with the linked index of songs about light and darkness]). ("Ocean of Noise", "Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)")

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