Writing and film as different forms of art often come together to front particular ideas which are easily denoted from the thematic structuring of the specific pieces that one is looking at. This essay seeks to show how the TV series 24 has ideas reflected in a poem titled Traveling through the dark and a song called the future.
To this end, a summary of the various seasons of the show will be illustrated in order to get a clear picture of what the entire show is all about. The main ideas which the authors of both the poem and the song are proposing will also be summarized and finally a link will be provided between the piece of literary work, the song and the television show.
Summary of the seasonal structuring of the show 24
The television drama 24 is a show based on a wide array of concepts mainly targeted at addressing social issues plaguing modern day America. The series which is now in its ninth season piloted with the lead character Jack Bauer trying to protect the senator of the country David Palmer from being assassinated by individuals who find both Bauer’s and Palmer’s involvement in the Balkan unacceptable. These hit men are out to frustrate Bauer and they even go to the extent of threatening harm to his family members.
In the second season, Bauer is challenged with the task of stopping a nuclear bomb before it explodes in Los Angeles essentially taking down the entire population. He is also tasked with the job of identifying the individuals behind the plot to detonate the bomb in the heavily populated city.
In the third season, jack Bauer needs to infiltrate the ranks of a Mexican cartel dealing in illegal drug distribution. The situation is complicated by the fact that he is also battling an addiction to heroine even as he seeks to recover a stringent strain of killer virus being sold by the gangs. In the meantime, Palmer is getting ready for general elections in which he intends to vie for the top seat in the country.
In the fourth season, Bauer has to protect the secretary of defense, Mr. James Heller and his (Heller’s) daughter from criminals intending to kill them. The story takes a dramatic turn when jack and the people he is supposed to protect are kidnapped by the terrorists. With Jack out of the way, the terrorists plot to unleash terror in the country but Jack puts all the necessary effort to stop them.
In season five, people all over the country save for a few close friends believe that he is dead. He is however forced to come out of his self imposed exile prematurely after some of these close friends are murdered mysteriously. He is actually accused of committing the murders and he is out to clear his name. As the story unfolds, the terrorist plot to release nerve gas into the air to front their agenda of protecting America’s interests in the Asian oil sources.
In the sixth season Bauer comes out of detention in China where he has been held for a period of twenty months. He is met with a crisis in the US occasioned by terrorists scheming to set off nuclear explosives and it is up to Bauer to do all that he can to avert this crisis.
The seventh season plays around events that occur when terrorists penetrate the security defenses of the US’s computer systems. The individuals responsible for this infringement are also linked to conflict in Sangala. It is further revealed that a number of government officials are involved in the conspiracy in the season that welcomes America’s first female president.
In the eighth season, Bauer is required to unravel a plot to murder the Islamic leader Omar Hassan. Russian extremists plan to take down Hassan as he holds peace talks with America’s president.
Analysis of the song The Future and the poem Traveling through the dark
Right from the outset, it is easy to conclude that the song The Future is about the apocalypse. The author of the song points out from the song the fact that at the end of the world there will be untold misery and suffering occasioned by the evil things that mankind does while on earth (Cohen N.p.).
This is according to the Christian point of view. The element of suffering has been given a lot of emphasis in the throughout the song with claims such as when the world comes to an end people will face suffering whose magnitude can only be equated to death. In later stanzas of the song, Christian religious aspects are introduced especially by the citation of the verse of the song that explains how God will judge the sinners and save those who followed His teachings.
While analyzing the part of the song that details the Buddhist notion of the apocalypse, the writer of this song summarizes this part as claiming that the future is already happening. The apocalypse from this point of view will only serve to illustrate to mankind how evil he has made the world. The writer of the song defines the apocalypse as the time when it will be revealed that mankind is not different from God.
From the poem Traveling through the dark the author informs the readers about the inconsistencies of life especially in modern days. The author of this poem isolates certain statements to show how life can be challenging especially for the men (Stafford N.p.). A conclusion is arrived at that the poem though pessimistic at first glance, serves to illustrate the disappointments in life.
The author of the poem for instance picks out the theme of loneliness which has been highlighted in the poem as well as the issue of failed dreams to further drive home his point. He identifies a point from the essay showing how difficult it is for most people to accept the bitter truths of life.
As a reader of the poem, it is very easy to come to the conclusion that the poem is a broad life metaphor. The author cites certain social issues and highlights them in the poem to give his argument substance. For instance we can pick a point from the poem which speaks of how life passes by way too fast to the extent that individuals would like to go back and relive it again.
Finally we can come to a conclusion that the entire poem just seeks to show how disappointments in life can never come to an end as long as an individual is alive. We arrive at this thought citing the way the poet has used the imagery of the river to show a flow in the sequence of life events.
Ideas expressed in the poem and the song which present in the show 24
The poem Traveling through the dark and the song The Future both emphasize strong points which can directly relate to the themes expressed in the show 24. The song highlights the manifestation of the apocalypse cannot be more wrong by focusing on the fact that man will get punished for evil deeds done on earth.
Though this is derived from the Christian point of view, it is evident from the show 24 that mankind is constantly planning the downfall of fellow human beings. Jack Bauer moves from one case to another all the time saving people from killing each other.
From the second season where Bauer manages to halt the detonation of a nuclear bomb to the third season where he halts the trade of killer viruses in underground markets, to the sixth season where he blocks extremists from once again setting off nuclear explosives, it is evident that man will get punished in the end for this sort of deliberate destructions.
The author of the song picks the Buddhist explanation that the apocalypse is happening here and now. It is clear from the show 24 that wrong deeds cannot go unpunished and that the truth will always set individuals free. Bauer is able to halt the actions of terrorists and other criminal groups plotting evil on innocent individuals.
Most of these culprits have their lives cut short as they are felled by bullets or are arrested. When Bauer is framed for the murder of his friends in season five, it is only when he goes out to seek the truth that he is cut loose. It also comes as a chance for the criminals to face their due punishment.
From the poem Traveling through the dark, it is easy to draw parallels between the poem and the television show 24. The author of the poem categorically points out that his work is on the regular disappointments that men face in their lives. Jack Bauer comes a lot of challenges in the never ending quest that his life has become. Sometimes the people that he is trying to save are the ones who turn on him and plot to get rid of him.
He is presented in the show as a very lonely person because he never gets proper time to settle down. The relationships he has especially with women are not quite meaningful because he often has to distant himself from individuals in order to protect them from attacks by terrorists and other criminals.
The metaphor of life’s challenges as a river presents in the series 24 in the sense that from the first season to the current ninth season, issues keep following Jack Bauer. For instance, even when he goes into hiding and everybody thinks he is dead, criminals manage to kill his friends and frame him for the murders forcing him back into the investigative field.
In conclusion it is worth noting that art is mainly based on thematic subjection. This is more so in writing and film where meaning can be achieved from a given piece of work if a proper analysis of the themes that the work is based on are clearly identified. This paper has shown how parallels can be drawn between a television show a piece of literary work and a song.
Cohen, Leonard. “The Future.” A-Z Lyrics.com. A-Z, N.p. n.d. Web. 8 April. 2010.
Stafford, William. “Traveling Through The Dark.” PoemHunter.com. PoemHunter, N.P. n.d. Web. 8 April. 2010