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Little Green, an orphaned baby, is described in the song to be uplifting and joyful. With many examples of happy family situations, on the surface the song seems cheerful. The lullaby like tone of “Little Green” is used to evoke sincerity, compassion and fore longing from a mother to her long lost baby. Mitchell uses many peaceful metaphors to portray sincerity and compassion. In the lines: “Just a little green/ like the color when the spring is born” we are presented with a warm idea of rebirth. This strengthens her sorrow, as well as optimism for her baby which she gave up to adoption. After a cold winter, green spring always emerges. The same principal is applied to Little Green’s fresh start on life. The delivery of the lyrics is very important in showing how Mitchell truly feels about the situation. By having a lullaby like tone, it plays with the idea of speaking to her baby. When singing to an infant, mothers often use a higher pitch compared to any other time for singing. The high pitch is clear in the song, sounding different at first, but when taking a look at the lyrics as a whole the high pitch makes sense to get her mood across. The song is full of realistic, colorful imagery. Little Green is compared to many wondrous and beautiful natural occurrences, “Like the nights when the Northern lights perform.” With the use of these naturalistic images, we get the idea that this decision to let Little Green go is comparable to a sad part of nature. She is trying to have Little Green understand that life is the way it is, just like “There’ll be crocuses” after the long winters, there will be a life ahead of little Green to pursue with a new, more providing family. Drew Erickson
Little Green by Joni Green Melissa PotvinIn the song “Little Green” Joni Mitchell she uses symbolism personification and point of view to exsplain that the choice of her giving her daughter up for adoption was hard but also the best desion she could have made she also says that “your sad and your sorry but your not ashamed” which means that she was sad and sorry for not keeping her but she wasn’t ashamed by having a child so early in life, So the song describes how that your going to have to make hard choices in life but you have to trust you instinct to know its whats best.Symbolism in this song represents that her giving her child up for adoption symbolizes that she cares forher child and wants him/her to have the best life possible so Joni couldn’t provide that so she handed it off to people that could.Personification is Joni telling the story of that part of her life and the personal struggle she went through of not being able to keep her child and the process of not being selfish and keeping it but having enough heart to give it to people that could take really good care of it.Point Of View the point of view is a shift between 1st person (Joni) 2nd person(you) 3rd person (the father) so she has a mix of whos she talking about and it shifts .
Balancing happiness and sorrow in “Little Green,” Joni Mitchell employs melancholy tone, image-laden simile, and bleak narrative to elucidate that though life can be tough, something is always “a little green.” Mitchell utilizes a sad tone to bring the reader to feel some sympathy for her and the child, but brightens when talking about the child to convey that though “sometimes there’ll be sorrow,” we can always have “a happy ending.” Discussing how the father has left them for a “warmer” place, she creates a feeling of betrayal. The vocal tone which she uses during these sorrowful parts of the song helps her to create the feeling of sorrow which she contrasts during moments of “a little green,” using a happier vocal tone. Though the song is clearly filled with sorrow, Mitchell creates moments of understanding and happiness which gives the reader the hope that salvages some positive feeling from the song. Depicting beautiful life-evident events, Mitchell exercises imagery within simile to remind the reader of the “little green” that can brighten our “sorrow.” Not only using simile to depict just how beautiful the “little green” is, Mitchell uses imagery within these examples to create the “little green” of the child’s new life to be “like the color when spring is born.” Though Mitchell does depict sorrow of her actions and her inability to care for the child she created, she also depicts the “happy ending” of the child to be “life the nights when the Northern lights perform.” Though there is a struggle which Mitchell must face, the knowledge of a brighter future for her child helps her find her “little green” to brighten her hard times. Sharing the story of her teenage pregnancy, Mitchell adopts this narrative format in which she conveys her hard decision that created a brighter future to help us realize that through our “weary" times, we can still create a positive future. Though her situation pits her in a difficult decision which she must face alone, Mitchell overcomes her “sorrow” and creates a “happy ending” for her child. Understanding her fault of having a child when she was a child herself, she shows that accepting her inadequacy, she can create some positive notion by giving the child a brighter future. Through her narrative, she furthermore shows the reader that though life may be difficult, and “sometimes there’ll be sorrow,” we can always search for a resolution that will create a “little green.” Balancing between happiness and sorrow, Mitchell creates the notion that though there is evident sorrow, there is always happiness to be found. Whilst she is dealing with the current situation and her partner in crime, who should be sharing the struggle, has gone to “California,” she creates a feeling of sorrow. While speaking of her child and the “crocuses” she can “bring to school tomorrow,” Mitchell depicts the happiness of the situation. Instead of constantly showing the sorrow of the situation, she goes back and forth to help show that though she is “sorry,” she is not “ashamed” of her actions because she finds a “little green” in her experience of being mature and realistic in her decision to put her child up for adoption and therefore giving her “a happy ending.”
John Royle Shifting from a dismal decision to the hopefulness of a potentially positive future, Joni Mitchell employs the use of melancholy tone, shifting points of view, and chromatic similes to convey that she is innocent, “Green” and deserves a “happy ending.” Mitchell constructs her song in such a way that she symbolizes and expresses her genuine feelings of displeasure towards ultimately giving her daughter up for adoption. Mitchell a “child with a child pretending,” realizes that she is too young and immature to handle the responsibility surrounding the upbringing of a child. Instead Mitchell makes the wise but painful decision to give her daughter up for adoption and give her daughter the chance to “have a happy ending.” Mitchell’s shifting points of view bring to light that this song was not only written for her benefit but also as a wakeup call to the father and as a testament of love to her daughter. Shifting from first person, “choose her a name she will answer to” to third person, “he sends you a poem and she’s lost to you” Joni Mitchell emphasizes that the father is no longer part of “little green’s” life and also shows that neither is Mitchell. Through the numerous changes in person, one is able to realize that this song was made to benefit all that listen, by lulling them into a sense of comfort, and to those directly referred to make some kind of change in their life. The colorful similes in this song exemplify the feelings Mitchell has for her own daughter, and give the song a sense of warmth that the listener feels toward the family. Mitchell’s use of affectionate adjectives give the listener a cozy disposition towards the music, meanwhile the deeper meaning of the song, after analysis, exposes that this is a last farewell to her daughter before she is given up for adoption, in an attempt for her to have “a happy ending.” Mitchell’s genuine feelings being “sad,” “sorry,” but “not ashamed,” all illustrate just how much she loves her daughter, and how hard the decision to give her away was. Contrasting from a terribly difficult decision to the hope of “little green” having a positive future, Joni Mitchell uses melancholy tone, shifting points of view, and chromatic similes to express that she is an innocent girl and deserves a “happy ending. ”
“Little Green” People need to make decisions in life, and some are harder than others. Many are life changing, and might not have worked out in the end. Some decisions are made that are terrifying and sad, but ultimately was the right decision; and this is exactly what Joni Mitchell went through. Moving from the characterization of the father to that of the mother in “Little Green,” Joni Mitchell portrays naturalistic imagery, melancholy tone, and uplifting personification to tell her daughter why she ended up where she is today, and that life can be enjoyable but “there’ll” also “be sorrow”. Illustrating fresh imagery, Mitchell shows the reader the insight of the troubles with the soon to be father leaving, “He went to California”, and Mitchell giving her daughter up, “you sign all the papers in the family name”, for adoption to happy and warm images about her daughter “Green”. Mitchell talks about the beginning of “little Green”, describing how the father was never there. He wasn’t there to see her face or to name her. He fled to “California” to get away from “the children who’ve made her”. He is getting away from the road block in his life. Mitchell writes him to tell him her daughters “eyes are blue”, and he reacts to this by showing no love towards his daughter or remorse for why he is in “California”. Mitchell pictures what life would be like with “Green”: Like the color when the spring is bornThere’ll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrowJust a little greenLike the nights when the Northern lights performThere’ll be icicles and birthday clothesShe thinks of the years to come, with her daughter picking flowers for school, the seasons such as winder, and her birthdays with clothes as presents. She talks about spring, the beginning of spring, which is beautiful and starting to take life like her daughter is. Mitchell portrays what life would be like with “Green” and she sets images of her with how beautiful she is. She shows the image of what she things her daughter is like through other images. Mitchell conveys a very depressing tone throughout the song to explain to her daughter why she did what she did, and although she is said about this event she is not “ashamed”. She uses a lullaby tune, which implies that the song was written for “Little Green”. It is serious, calming, and very melancholy. Mitchell talks about why she did what she did, “child with a child pretending”. She felt unfit to raise her daughter, and although she loved her, she was still just a child herself. She was wise and mature enough to decide to give her child up, but cannot help and look back on what could have been: Just a little greenLike the color when the spring is bornThere’ll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrowJust a little greenLike the nights when the Northern lights performThere’ll be icicles and birthday clothesAnd sometimes there’ll be sorrowShe is singing to her, letting her know why things occurred the way they did; and although she is sorry she is “not ashamed”. Paige A.
In her song “Little Green”, Joni Mitchell shifts from a hopeful , optimistic mood to one that elicits sorrowful emotions from the listener through the utilization of naturalistic imagery, melancholy tone, and the coupling of the warm, caring characterization of the mother and the cold, distant characterization of the father in order to demonstrate how the lack of biological parents in a child’s life can lead to “sorrow”, but in certain situations, adoption is in the best interest of that child. Infused into nearly each line of the song, one will find that the imagery Mitchell uses to enhance the listener’s ‘mental picture’ creates the lifelike sensation of being outdoors on a warm “spring” day, where everything is peaceful and “happy”. By offering words with such positive connotations, Mitchell uses the chromatic imagery to demonstrate to her daughter that a lot of days in life will indeed be filled with “crocuses” and “birthday clothes, just like most children who have their biological parents around. Although it has the potential to be filled with joy and laughter, life for her may contain different struggles than children living with their blood relatives may have, and she adds as a warning measure that as a result of not knowing her real parents, “sometimes there’ll be sorrow.” The bittersweet tone that Mitchell creates through her word choice plays an enormous role in the development and portrayal of how she feels towards adoption and the children that are subjected to it. It is clear that putting her daughter up for adoption was not a result of not loving her, because she says “Little green, have a happy ending”, which implies that she wishes she could be there to watch her daughter grow up, but since she cannot, wishes her the best life has to offer. She also indicates that although she loves her daughter, adoption was the best choice because she is “sad” and “sorry”, but she is “not ashamed” of her decision. In her heart, she knows that adoption was the best decision for her daughter, and even though it will deeply upset her, she must do what is right for her child. Just as she uses naturalistic imagery to distinguish the winter and spring seasons in her son, she also assembles the introduction of the mother and father by giving them characteristics that correspond to those seasons. She first describes the father who is seeking warmth in “California”, suggesting that he himself has become a cold man. When speaking about him to her daughter, Mitchell says that “he’s a non conformer”, which insinuates that he knew she was pregnant, and did not ask for her hand in marriage like many fathers would do. This non conformity projects a cold, dark, uninviting image of the father that corresponds with the “icicles” and “sorrow” of “winters”. Although the father is described as cold and uncaring, the mother on the other hand demonstrates each of the characteristics the father lacks. She offers the hope for little green to “have a happy ending”, and she comforts her daughter by saying that “there’ll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow” and nights just like the ones “when the Northern Lights perform”. In doing this, she can be compared with the warm, carefree spring season that follows the long, dreadful winter. Offering a warm, caring characterization of the mother directly after the dismal characterization of the father, helps Mitchell show that the biological parents of this girl were not in love, and if she had kept the baby with him then things would have taken a different turn, probably not for the best where it concerned the child, which is why adoption is sometimes the best choice.
(cont.)Although “Little Green” is a serious and sorrowful song, Mitchell puts in uplifting personification about her daughter that has to do with things that are growing and beautiful. This contrasts to the tone of the song, but makes it successful because it shows two opposite feelings. When she is talking about her daughter she describes her as a beautiful and playful girl. She describes her daughter like when “spring is born,” which gives the reader a connotation that she is a breath of fresh air. Spring cannot be born because it is not a physical living thing, but “Little Green” is and that is how Mitchell feels about her daughter. She wants her daughter to “be a gypsy dancer” and live free and enjoy everything that comes her way; because as Mitchell knows, life can be unexpecting. She gives the “Northern lights” human characteristics to “perform” to show how she feels what her daughter does to her and everyone else. When an event comes one’s way that is much unexpected, people have to make choices on what to do. Mitchell made her choice, and she feels and knows that it was the right one. Through the imagery, tone, and personification the reader can understand and picture what Mitchell went through and can feel her sadness through her lyrics.Paige A.
In the song “Little Green”, Joni Mitchell uses imagery, personification, and characterization to talk about how Joni had to give up her daughter for adoption because she was too poor.The song, “Little Green” has many different types of imagery, for example when she says the line “Like the nights when the Northern lights perform..” she is talking about the lights in the sky in Alaska. After talking about the lights in Alaska, Joni says that “He went to California..” hearing the word California you think of beaches and warm weather. Another way Joni talks about the adoption is through personification. She uses personification when she says, “Like the color when the spring is born.” This s personification because spring can’t be born, it’s a season. Joni also says, “..Northern lights perform.” Lights don’t perform anything because light is an object.
Colin Feeney 11/4/11 Class-GLittle Green In “Little Green”, Joni Mitchell’s use of illustrated imagery, phenomenal characterization, and repetition of personification are all displayed in this song to show how Mitchell shifts from her mother to father and how she feels bad for giving her child up for adoption, but knows it was the right choice. “You’re sad and you’re sorry, but you’re not ashamed.” Joni Mitchell displays a positive and negative artistic imagery. She displays this illustrated imagery in order to show how happiness “like the nights when the Northern lights perform.” She puts this quote to show the happiness she feels when the Northern lights do perform. Also, she shows some lack of happiness as well. She writes about how everything won’t always happen the way you want it to “and sometimes there’ll be sorrow.” Mitchell displays a good artistic imagery in the song “Little Green” Mitchell shows her great characterization to her daughter and uses it perfectly. “Little Green, be a gypsy dancer.” She is saying this about her child because she wants her to do what she wants and maybe her child wanted to be dancer when she was little. Mitchell also shows great characteristics to her child “Little Green, he’s a non-conformer.” She wants her daughter to realize what life’s about and do it the way she wants. Mitchell also repeats personification in this song. She uses it in this song to describe how “her eyes are blue.” There are also some other examples in this song about it as well. Mitchell got a letter telling her that her Childs eyes were blue. Personification is a literary device that is used in lots of songs. Even different types of music, it is everywhere. It is also in poems and the way people talk as well. Mitchell uses all of these devices in her song “Little Green” and she uses them really well. She didn’t want to give up her child but she knew she had to do it. She didn’t have that much money and wasn’t happy either. Those two things do not go along together that much. “I was dirt poop. An unhappy mother does not raise a happy child.” That quote right there explains all of it. She knew if she put her child up for adoption she would have a happier life. Mitchell wanted he child to grow up doing what she wanted and not what other people would tell her. This was a pretty good song and when I found out Mitchell and her daughter reunited 30 years later it made me really happy.
Shifting from happy to sad in the song “little green” Joni Mitchell uses sad tone, the characterization of the father and the characterization of the mother, and the joyful personification to portray the idea that Joni was “sad” but was “not ashamed” when she thought about the decision she had made in giving away her daughter. Joni knew she made the right decision and only wanted her child to “have a happy ending” The tone of the song has a sad feeling because of the heartbreak of the mother and father for having to give their newborn child away because they were dirt poor. For any parents or family’s making this decision is something they’ll have to live with every day and be constantly thing about, so by making the wrong decision could potentially have a depressing effect. Joni and the father know that “sometimes there’ll be sorrow” but in the end raising an unhappy baby would be the worst decision they could possibly make. Personification impacts the song through its lyrics. Joni is getting across to the listeners that she wants her child to be herself even though she won’t be there to teacher and show her along the course of her life. She thinks her child is “like the color when spring is born” Meaning her daughter is so beautiful just like the colors of the flowers when spring is beginning. As her child grows up even though she won’t be there to show her or tell her this she wants her to be free spirited and just have a better life than she would if she were to be with her biological parents. The characterization of the mother is realization that her child is gone and she did her best to give her the best life possible. She knows that if the child were to stay with her then she would have made her life miserable. The characterization of the father is lost. Because throughout the whole process of the child being born he was missing and didn’t want to take any part in it. He wanted to stay out of the baby’s life. -Kathy Remick
Shifting from optimistic to sorry mood in “Little Green”, Joni Mitchell portrays the idea that even though life seems happy, “sometimes there’ll be sorrow” through the use of naturalistic imagery, solemn tone, and parental characterization. Mitchell illustrates “green” imagery which stresses the significance of knowing there are “little” wonders and beauty among the ugly situations in life. The pictures formed in the listener’s mind while listening to “Little Green” are both beautiful and cheerful. “When the Northern lights perform”, many would be in awe at the natural phenomena. Mitchell is showing that even in a frozen wasteland, beauty can be found. “Icicles”, especially when large, are works of nature that are cold but amazing. The “crocuses to bring to school tomorrow” are small, usually purple, flowers. These flowers symbolize the fragility of her daughter and the situation they are in. Mitchell compares “Little Green” to “the color when the spring is born.” This communicates the freshness and delicacy of life and of her daughter which is made possible by the imagery of the earth that is encompassed in this song. The cheerfully “green” imagery is contrasted by another device found in “Little Green”, tone. Mitchell speaks in a lullaby-like, somber tone to convey the sadness brought on when she gave up her daughter for adoption even if she thought it was the only available decision and she was “not ashamed”. This tone portrays a mother who wants her daughter to “have a happy ending” even if that ending does not include her. Mitchell’s seriousness during “Little Green” is due to her true story vocalized in the song. She wants to be encouraging for her daughter but fails to do so because of her love for her daughter. When paired with the lyrics, the quiet demeanor of “Little Green” becomes almost ironic but makes sense when “sometimes there’ll be sorrow” ends the song. The “sorry but… not ashamed” tone shows that Mitchell was truly upset when she “[signed] all the papers in the family name”. She misses her daughter greatly but knew that this was the only way her daughter could have that “happy ending”. Mitchell separates the feelings of herself and the father of her child through their specific character descriptions to acknowledge the hardships in not only her and her daughter’s lives but also in the listeners’ lives. The father of “Little Green”, described as a young man afraid of commitment, is “a non-conformer” and never returned to Mitchell because he was never aware of her pregnancy until “Little Green’s” birth. “He went to California” before the birth and will never meet his daughter. The father never wanted a child because he is only a child himself. Contrastingly Mitchell, the mother, is a loving young woman who wants to keep her daughter, but she knows she cannot. She believed adoption was the only answer. Mitchell was poor and unable to take care of “Little Green”. She was “weary of the lies [she was] sending home” because she had not told her family of her decision to put her daughter up for adoption. The parents of “Little Green” were only “children who made her”. Mitchell was a child herself so she ultimately chose to put her daughter up for adoption. Contrasting the cheerful and somber moods, Mitchell encompasses “green” imagery, falsely-encouraging tone, and familial characterization to communicate the idea that even when times are tough, there is always “a little green”.Corina Jurczyk
Brandon Deal11/4/11Progressing from a reassuring disclaimer on life to a confident, decision that only person in need can make, Joni Mitchell blends a melancholy tone and springtime imagery, as well as a narrative featuring multiple points of view in “Little Green” to prove that though some decisions can be tough, they can still be considered the right one.The sorrowful tone of this lullaby-like song reinforces the emotions implicated in the situation described in the song, which are associated with the loss of a loved one. The familiar nature of a lullaby helps to make the parental nature of the speaker more apparent. That this subject matter is near to the speaker’s heart and that the decision is not an easy one to make, but the child will have a better life with it. This tone is more heard than shown through the lyrics but words like “sad, Sorry, and Sorrow” suggest the deep sadness felt by the motherThe natural Imagery Presented in this song not only promotes the theme of youth and birth Generally not associated tithe a wise decision which was made by the mother in this song, This contrast helps to show that one does not need to be worldly to see that the difficult decision can be the right one. This is shown through the springtime imagery of “crocuses” the Hue of Green prevailant throughout. The themes of youth and birth contrast directly with the theme of wisdom and necessity, as “children” ane supposed to have been taken care of.Joni’s Utilization of shifts in points of view, ant the underlying changes in the characterization Of these distinct voices helps to promote the worldview taken by the mother in her justification of such a supposedly immoral thing as dumping one’s own child, and responsibility on someone else. The different perspectives saying the same thing show that it is not all bad and that the sad nature of this event could be construed as a necessary and joyous occasion, and that little green will have a “happy ending” The mother in this is not only telling the history and circumstance surrounding the child’s birth, but reassures the child that though things will be hard,”and sometimes there will be sorrow” that there will be good to come out of this, There’ll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow”. Wheras the function of the voice of the foster parent is to be reassuring not to the child, but to the mother who is a “child with a child pretending” implying confusion and “weary of the lies you are sending home” represents the stress associated with being a single mother. The voices serve to remind the reader that the song is not just for the benefit of the child, but also to justify adoption in general.The theme of right and wrong, though prevailant in other places is
Shifting from a sad to a positive tone in “Little Green”, Joni Mitchell displays emotional characterization, picturesque imagery, and a unique simile in order to tell her daughter that she put up for adoption that she loved her but she had to let her go. The shift in the song occurs after the first chorus. At first in the song Mitchell is seems upset because she is putting her daughter up for adoption and she is also talking about her daughter’s father and how he went away. Then after the shift happens Mitchell is more positive because even though she is sad that she is giving her daughter up she has a more positive tone because she knows that it was the right thing to do to make sure that her daughter has the best life possible. When Mitchell says “ you’re sad and you’re sorry, but you’re not ashamed” its shows that even though she is sad, doing this for her daughter made her feel better.Mitchell’s emotional characterization in this song really told me how she was feeling about everything that was happening at that time. The three characters that I can pick up on in the song are Joni, her daughter and her daughter’s father. In the song Mitchell explains what was going through her head at this time and that causes her to talk about her daughter’s father. She talks about how he wasn’t there to help her through this process and that this upsets her. There isn’t much characterization for her daughter but the entire chorus is about her and explains how Joni felt about her.In “Little Green” Mitchell uses picturesque imagery to allow her audience to imagine what she was going through in their heads. The line “he went to California, hearing that everything’s warmer there” causes me to picture nice tropical weather and beaches. The imagery in the chorus is good because it lets me picture her daughter and also the one feature about her daughter that she talks about also helps me picture her daughter and how she felt about her. The overall image I get from this song is picturing her signing those papers that releases her daughter from her but her knowing that she did the right thing.Mitchell has one simile in the song but it is an important and unique one. When Mitchell says “like the color when spring is born” she is referring to spring being a new beginning and how putting her daughter up for adoption was a new start for both of them. The meaning of that quote something is ending but something new is beginning. Just like when winter ends spring is born. She uses spring because green is one of the most prominent colors to begin spring.
Little Green Song analysesThe bond between a mother and daughter is said to be the strongest form of love. In some cases however, a mother is faced with a situation where they must turn their child to adoption. Folk singer Joni Mitchell experienced this tough task, but knew the choice was right for her and her child. Shifting from a solemn to an optimistic mood in “Little Green”, Joni Mitchell uses questionable points of view, seasonal imagery, and brilliant simile in order to display her heartbreaking memories of giving up her daughter for adoption, but her hope for “a happy ending”.Mitchell utilizes varying and often hidden points of view, shadowing the fact that she is indeed the speaker in the song. Visiting both third and later second points of view, Mitchell creates a hidden message beneath the verses. She starts the first verse saying “choose her a name she will answer too”, 3rd person point of view, most likely directed towards the adopting parents. The second verse starts with more third person, “He went to California”, but soon shifts into second person with “So you write him a letter and say “Her eyes are blue”. The sudden shift puts the listener into the heart of the story for a moment. However, digging deeper, the “you” that Mitchell refers to is herself, at a younger age. Possibly, she is distancing herself from a more reckless and younger version of herself that is part of her past. The “he”, in the song, “went to California” signaling a father that wasn’t there for neither his child nor Joni. The highly questionable points of view open the listeners’ ears for further and deeper investigation of whose story this really is.Mitchell also presents an array of imagery that ranges from the winter to the spring, symbolizing the shift in mood from depression to hope. In the beginning of the sad feeling first verse, the line, “the winters cannot fade her” brings a snowy, cloudy image to the listeners head. The second verse mentions “hearing everything’s warmer there” which indicates the father leaving the cold, depressed place for a sunny one. However, the chorus lifts the gloomy mood with, “like the color when the spring is born” . Springtime erasing winter is a universal sign for a new hope, and new life ahead. Also, the repeating “green” imagery is a reminder of the overall optimistic mood of the song.Simile is also found in the uplifting chorus, referencing vibrant emerald colors and giving life into the song, contrasting the verses mood. The line “just a little green/like the color when the spring is born” gives the simple color green a new life of a bright future, the bright future belonging to the daughter. Also in the chorus, “like the nights when the Northern Lights perform” takes the color and amplifies it to extreme beauty. An overall scene of happiness is created with the similes, which reveals Mitchell’s true emotion, which is hope.Joni Mitchell obviously had a hard time with the giving up of her daughter. This song shows her struggle, but it also shows the bright side. Her daughter was given a greater future, and Mitchell recognizes the necessity of what she did. She presents it all by using the color green to convey her stae of mind as at peace and hopeful.-Sean Mathews
In the song “Little Green” by Joni Mitchell moves from the characterization of the father, to the characterization of the mother by using a melancholy tone, naturalistic imagery, and distinctive personification to prove that the choose of giving away her child was definitely the right choice that would benefit the child the most, however “You’re sad and you’re sorry but you’re not ashamed.” Mitchell uses a melancholy tone throughout the entire song. He portrays how difficult the decision of giving up the child is. Knowing that he made the right decision makes him feel good, however he also feels guilty that it had to come down to this. He explains that “sometimes there’ll be sorrow”, and “You’re sad and you’re sorry but you’re not ashamed”. Therefore, that implies that sometimes the right decision may indeed be the right decision. Even if it doesn’t seem so at first, someday you’ll realize that it was the best choice. A lot of naturalistic imagery is also used frequently throughout the song. Mitchell uses a lot of intense imagery to make you visualize what exactly is going on. The imagery used can make you visualize the song in many different ways. He explains that “Like the nights when the northern lights perform, there’ll be icicles and birthday clothes”. That made me picture exactly what it looked like. Mitchell uses distinctive personification a lot in this song. He compares the child to “when the spring is born”, which implies how beautiful the child was. When in actuality spring can’t be born. He also mentions that “the Northern lights perform”, by saying that he means that he wants the child to grow up making the right decisions that will lead her in the right path. However, lights can’t actually perform, that is unrealistic.
In the song “Little Green” by Joni Mitchell moves from the characterization of the father, to the characterization of the mother by using a melancholy tone, naturalistic imagery, and distinctive personification to prove that the choose of giving away her child was definitely the right choice that would benefit the child the most, however “You’re sad and you’re sorry but you’re not ashamed.” Mitchell uses a melancholy tone throughout the entire song. He portrays how difficult the decision of giving up the child is. Knowing that he made the right decision makes him feel good, however he also feels guilty that it had to come down to this. He explains that “sometimes there’ll be sorrow”, and “You’re sad and you’re sorry but you’re not ashamed”. Therefore, that implies that sometimes the right decision may indeed be the right decision. Even if it doesn’t seem so at first, someday you’ll realize that it was the best choice. A lot of naturalistic imagery is also used frequently throughout the song. Mitchell uses a lot of intense imagery to make you visualize what exactly is going on. The imagery used can make you visualize the song in many different ways. He explains that “Like the nights when the northern lights perform, there’ll be icicles and birthday clothes”. That made me picture exactly what it looked like. Mitchell uses distinctive personification a lot in this song. He compares the child to “when the spring is born”, which implies how beautiful the child was. When in actuality spring can’t be born. He also mentions that “the Northern lights perform”, by saying that he means that he wants the child to grow up making the right decisions that will lead her in the right path. However, lights can’t actually perform, that is unrealistic. -krista woodworth
The sixties. America has seen the advances of technology and utilized its power for war. The youth in the country strongly felt it was their duty to protest against this. Being outcastes and living with more freedoms teen pregnancy began to rise. Living on their own, the young mothers found it difficult to provide. One mother was going to be successful folk singer Joni Mitchell, whom at this time was unable to support her child. Balancing between a sorrowful and optimistic tone in “Little Green” Joni Mitchell uses seasonal imagery, turbulent characterization, and shifts in points of view in order to illuminate that presumably immoral decisions may lead to “a happy ending.”Mitchell cultivates vivid aesthetics of the bitter winter and the yearly struggle of spring to rebound in order to bring to light the righteous outcome of a “weary” choice. The “icicles” of the cold winter coupled with the “northern lights” aid the solemn tone throughout. As the shift towards spring occurs a “warmer” tone is introduced with the birth of “Little Green” and the reinstallation of spring. Mitchell knows that if something as beautiful as the “crocuses” can grow out of the harsh winter, that her child too can overcome this harsh beginning.Mitchell breathes life into a broken family plagued with a trivial option to better the life of a child at the expense of separating it completely. Just as the crocuses grow during an inhospitably time, “Little Green” a child of “children” is born into a fading family. The father has fled to California; while the mother attempts to care for her but inevitably is unable to provide for the child.Mitchell alters the perspective of the verity allowing her to reinforce her message that a dismal beginning can “Spring” back for the best outcome. Mitchell first introduces the story through the voice of someone outside of the family. A doctor announcing, “Call her green for the children who’ve made her.” In this instance “green” represents her age, green as new; her parents being young means this is a new experience for them as well. In the next verse the point of view has changed, Mitchell now embodies the role of the mother conversing with her daughter about her father whom has left. The final verse Mitchell has created the mothers final thoughts with her decision in putting Little Green up for adoption. She is thinking to herself on her sad decision, but reassures herself that she is “not ashamed.”A. Berardi
Relieving second with third person point of view, in “Little Green”, Joni Mitchell uses warming allusion, sorrowful narrative, and enlightening imagery to explain her feelings of losing her daughter. Losing a child is a terrible thing for a mother and is reflected through warming allusion by Joni Mitchell. Some allusions in “Little Green” include: Cancer, gypsy, and Northern Lights. The Cancer symbol for the Zodiac is beautiful, just as her daughter is. Gypsies tend to live more freelance lives. As explained through “gypsy dancer”, Mitchell wants her daughter to be free and lively. The “Northern lights” are used to describe how her daughter looks and acts. In all the sadness that envelopes her, Mitchell throws allusions into her work that warm the heart and lift the mood, trying to neutralize her emotions. Using sorrowful narrative, Joni Mitchell tells the story of losing her daughter. Mitchell starts with her daughter’s birth, explaining what she is like and why she calls her “Little green”. Then she goes on to say how she is foolish and how she was too poor to have a child. She calls herself a “child with a child” and goes on to “sign all the papers in the family name”. Of course, she feels it is best for “Little green” to be adopted by a family that can take care of her because she will be happier. She is “sorry…but…not ashamed”. Enlightening imagery helps to explain Joni Mitchell’s feelings for giving up her child. “Little green” is named in this manner to represent something beautiful. Green is a beautiful and happy color in the eyes of most people. When you think of green, images such as “spring” and “Northern lights” come to mind. The color “green” could also be a paradox because “’Here eyes are blue’”. Mitchell calls her “Little green” perhaps because she has forgotten that her eyes are blue and; therefore, does not know her own child. Joni Mitchell uses warming allusion, sorrowful narrative, and enlightening imagery in order to explain her feelings of giving up her daughter, in “Little Green”. Mitchell has no idea who her daughter is and what she looks like. To make it better, she calls her daughter “Little green” because of the good messages of the color. Even though she misses her daughter, Mitchell fantasizes about her daughter and what life would be like with her present. Also, she emphasizes that even with her there, there would still “be sorrow” because of her economic status. Joni Mitchell did the hardest thing a mother could do but she did it for the best of the child which is the most maternal thing anyone could do.
Amy P(sorry, no conclusion) Juxtaposing positive and negative times, in “Little Green”, Joni Mitchell portrays naturalistic imagery, characterizations of the mother and the father, and shifts in points of view to exemplify the idea that she was “sad” and she was “sorry”, but, ultimately, she was “not ashamed” of her decision to give up her daughter for adoption. Mitchell divulges her ability to see things from different perspectives by using a dual approach with points of view to further exemplify the story of her giving up her daughter, “Little Green”. Multiple uses of point of view can be extracted from this song. One of them is when the speaker was telling the mother to “choose her a name she will answer to/ call her green and the winters cannot fade her”. This quote is misleading; Joni Mitchell is, in fact, both the speaker and the mother in this part. This is a unique and eye-catching form for point of view that isn’t used very often. Odd forms of point of view are scattered all through this song. When the speaker says “so you write him a letter and say, ‘her eyes are blue’” she is, yet again the speaker and the person the speaker is talking to, and she was recalling the time when she wrote the letter. She wrote this in this form to create a feeling of realness and intimacy through her words. Shifting to a more common form of point of view, the speaker says “Little green, have a happy ending” to show that she really did, and still does, love her daughter and always wanted the best for her. Mitchell, using her unique perspectives, as mentioned above, translates how she and “Little Green’s” father were separated through different characterizations of the “children”. When the speaker demands to “call her green for the children who’ve made her”, she means to describe the parents as children themselves; which is obviously a hyperbole. The characterization of the father states that “he went to California/ hearing that everything’s warmer there/ so you write him a letter and say, ‘her eyes are blue.’/ he sends you a poem and she’s lost to you/ little green, he’s a non-conformer” this is meant to say how he wasn’t in their lives; not that the daughter’s life with the mother was complete anyways. He didn’t even know her eyes were blue is showing how he didn’t care top know what she looked that, and he didn’t want to acknowledge that she was even his. Characterizing herself, Mitchell says, “child with a child pretending/ weary of lies you are sending home/ so you sign all the papers in the family name/ you’re sad and you’re sorry, but you’re not ashamed/ little green, have a happy ending”. This is Mitchell’s way of justifying her action of giving up her daughter. She wanted her to know that it was what was best for what both of them needed. They both needed to grow up first. Utilizing her chance to describe “Little Green”, in more ways than one, Mitchell uses naturalistic imagery to insure that narration flows and becomes real. After the speaker says “little green, be a gypsy dancer”, initially you think that they speaker literally means for her to become a gypsy dancer, but, in fact, the writer meant that she wants her to be a free spirit and for her to always do what she loves. A useful form of imagery in this song is when she states that “Little Green” was “like the color when the spring is born”. This makes you imagine the beauty of spring. Spring is the time of birth, and the speaker is saying this because she wants to make sure the reader knows that when her daughter was born it brought life to the earth. Also a phenomenal compliment is when she says her daughter was “like the nights when the Northern Lights perform”. The Northern Lights don’t happen very often, so the speaker want s to insure that the daughter knows she was something beautiful and special; a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Not Finished In “Little Green” Joni Mitchell contrasts brave and cowardly decisions by characterizing the mother and father in different points of view while utilizing chromatic and seasonal symbolism, flourishing personification, and contrasting references between the winter and spring to evince that “happy ending(s)”don’t come from the easy choices. In this song “just a little green” stands for when a new life and opportunity “is born” for both the mother and child from a “sad and” “sorry” situation. Green symbolizes when “the spring is born” and new beginnings, just as spring is the beginning of new growth. Winter is typically a time of hardships in nature, as the winters have the potential to “fade” one, but the child is green with strength and growth so “the winters cannot fade her”. Green rebirth has come from the “icicles” and “sorrow” of winter as the mother makes the harder but more rewarding decisions to make a “happy ending” for both her and her child. Contrasting the hardships symbolized by winter, flourishing actions of the seasons through personification show the new positive chances created through hard decisions.
Meredith Davern “Little Green” A shifting point of view allows Joni Mitchell in “Little Green” to employ life juxtaposition, artistic characterization, and hopeful personification to show how life’s hard decisions can “have a happy ending.” Moving from through several points of view helps to instill the message of a happy ending. The use of personal pronouns “she is lost to you” makes the song seem like it is happening to the listener. The listener is pulled into the song by the second person narrative, but gets interested as soon as the artist seems to be talking to them. The listener begins to realize how everyone goes through hardships, and they begin to identify with the song. When someone can identify with a song then they can really start to see and feel the emotion of a song. By changing the point of view the listener imagines it in new and different ways. The shift allows that listener to soak in the rest of the song. Sad but hopeful Joni uses real life juxtaposition idea to show the bright side of a terribly hard decision. The song shows both the good in giving up a child, but also makes clear how hard it is to give up someone who is loved very much. “And sometimes there’ll be sorrow” shows the hard side of life, but “have a happy ending” alludes to a hopeful ending. The song pulls the idea that one relationship is ending, but a child’s life is beginning out of the lyrics. “So you sign all the papers in the family name. You’re sad and you’re sorry, but you’re not ashamed.” All the adoption papers are signed, and her baby has been taken away, but she knows that it was the right thing to do. The decision was hard, and the outcome is sad for the mother, but it allows that child to have the chance at the life it should have. Instead of living with nothing the baby will have all the options of any other child. Characterization throughout “Little Green” really shows that time and feelings of all involved in the song. “Choose her a name she will answer to” creates the idea of a child in the listeners mind. “Call her green for the children who’ve created her.” The parents themselves are young. “Child with a child” The mother was overwhelmed “pretending” that she can handle having a child by herself. The father is not there “Her eyes are blue”, and has never seen his little girl. “He is a non-conformer” alluding to the idea that he is a hippie and roaming the country. The characterization shows the personality of those involved in the song. They are not mean or vicious people giving up a child, but overwhelmed and trying to look on the bright side of a hard life. The repetition of personification throughout the song adds hope to a hard place. “Spring is born” is used several times in the song, and it reinforces that the song has to do with a child; it also provides hope because spring is a time for blooming and beauty. “Just like the nights when the Northern lights perform” happiness can be found in a dark place. The dark night sky can light up with the dancers also known as the Northern lights. The word choice gives the lights the ability to dance across the night sky. Using both phrases throughout the chorus shows how the artist looks on the brighter side of a very hard choice. Showcasing literary devices and tools; Joni Mitchell shows a bright outlook and optimism in a bad situation.
Slowly transitioning from a nostalgic melancholy to a wishful one, Joni Mitchell’s “Little Green” deftly employs vernal, optimistic imagery; implicitly representative allusion; and dynamic perspective to express sentiments of support, remembrance, and hope to one lost to the narrator in the face of loss. Through much of the song, Mitchell’s imagery evokes springtime, as a method of creating an optimistic mood. Spring, generally associated with hope, youth, and birth and rebirth, helps keep the sorrow in the song from overpowering it, allowing the mood to become more melancholy and hopeful than straightforwardly sad. The seasonal aspects of the song are reinforced both through the title and main motif, – Green being a color most commonly associated with spring – the explicit parallel between the color named in the song and its season (“Just a little green/Like the color when the spring is born”), and the reference to seasonal plants in the chorus (“There’ll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow”). The allusions made in “Little Green” are intended to imply conditions more concisely and artistically than simply stating them outright. In the first verse, Mitchell recalls the subject as being “Born with the moon in Cancer”, indicating, through common astrological terminology, that they were born in the early summer. Of more consequence, however, is the line in the next verse, stating “He went to California”. The “he” in the line is implied to refer to the subject’s father, and his decision to go to California – while it may be driven simply because “everything’s warmer there”, as Mitchell tells us – hints at what kind of person he is long before Mitchell informs us that “he’s a non-conformer”. The perspective of the song shifts from second-person and impersonal view to a more intimate one, allowing for both detached, observational storytelling and direct expression of more personal sentiments. The verses usually adhere to both formers. This is first made most obvious in the line “So you write him a letter and say ‘Her eyes are blue.’”, which reflects on both the narrator’s remembrance of this event and their decision to move past it; the use of the second person indicates that the narrator feels that they are, to use a popular phrase, a different person. The chorus, however, deserts the second person, likely in accordance with the feelings that have been moved past in the verses, because the narrator is addressing their current concerns in their current mindset. The chorus also speaks in the future tense (“There’ll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow”; “There’ll be icicles and birthday clothes/and sometimes there’ll be sorrow”), as opposed to the verses’ present tense (“Weary of the lies you are sending home”; “You’re sad and you’re sorry, but you’re not ashamed”), further highlighting the difference between the verses’ observation and reflection of the past and the chorus’ optimism of the future. Mitchell’s use of these devices – imagery, allusion, and perspective – allows her to fully express her views on these moments of regret tempered with hope. The song accepts and lives with the decision made, however heartbreaking, while still hoping for only the best for the one lost.
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