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Fast Car by Tracy Chapman TPCASTT CHART AND REFLECTION Essay

T: Based on the name of the title, I predict that the lyrical poem is about the fast ride through life, and how you should stop and smell the roses sometimes, to cherish life. P: This is a narrative lyric that tells a story about a girl with a rough life. However she uses her savings from when she works at the convenience store to find happiness with her lover in a bigger, brighter place. In the end the unhappy boy and girl become happy, get married and have kids.

The husband, however, becomes an alcoholic just like the wife’s father.Which reminds her how she dropped out of school to support him when he could not support her. This must also remind her about the strength she has to be able to get to where she is today and she doesn’t want to be like that ever again, so she uses that strength to divorce her husband, so he can find his way to a better place too.

Simile: “The speed so fast I thought that I was drunk” (Chapman 30). This is a simile referring to how the car was going so fast she could not see properly. This simile is important in the lyrics because it shows how rough her life was, and as soon as she got a way to leave, she left and drove away as soon as she could, which explains why she was driving so fast. Metaphor: “But is it fast enough so we can fly away” (Chapman 26).

This is a metaphor towards a better life and very quickly. Flying seems so graceful and elegant, which is why it is used to get to the better, more elegant life. The girl just wants a better life as fast as she can because compared to where she is right now, she basically would like to fly to heaven, and this is her hell. Point of View:’So I quit school and thats what I did” (Chapman 24).

The point of view in this narrative is in first person. It is so important to have this in first person because it is a story about this girls life and how she wants to have a better one. A: The authors attitude throughout most of this lyric is very sad and depressing. It must be sad because the song has a slow, sad tempo, so it sets the mood and the lyrics are very deep and sad, so it makes the most sense to have the attitude and diction sad and depressing because it is about how much a girl does not like her life.

S: There is a shift from when she has a really rough time taking care of her alcoholic father and having to drop out of high school to also finance her family, to when she leaves town and gets married, which is going from so sad to happy. Almost every stanza “You got a fast car” is a repeated lyric that starts the stanza off, this repeats itself various times because every time it has that lyric it changes the time frame of what she is doing and how shes changing her life.

It also says “And I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone” (Chapman 34). There is an emphasis on “Be someone” because she never feels like she is independent or has a life until they set off on their journey to be in a better place, and become the person that she wants to be, instead of the person that she hated before.

(Negative to positive shift) T: After reading the poem I think the title means that this girl wanted to leave her “old life” as fast as she could, and how this fast car represents her life. She packs up her life and leaves to a bigger and brighter place which is like coming from Belleville and moving to New York City, bigger, brighter, faster paced and all you could wish for.

T: The theme in this poem is hope. Throughout this narrative lyric she experiences the worst things but all she hopes for is better things, a better life. If she didn’t have hope she would be living the same unhappy, depressing life, she would not have gotten all the things she worked so hard. Because of hope, she learned to be optimistic and work harder for the things she wants.


“The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk City lights lay out before us”(Chapman 30,31). This reminds me of when I moved to Belleville 3 years ago, from living in Brockville for 8 years. I wasn’t happy like the girl in
this lyric, I was more upset than I have ever been. The day I moved was so overwhelming and sad that when we were driving I felt like I was leaving my hometown faster than the speed of light. As upset as I was, I see a bigger town with exciting things that I never saw in Brockville.

I became more optimistic about the fact that I was leaving, but I was still overly upset about leaving my “old life” behind me. Now that I live here I begin to realize that my “old life” is still a part of me, all of my old memories will always stay with me and the friends I have will always be my friends. Now I have more of friends because I moved and met new wonderful people.

Being a teenager, like myself I feel as though you have to live up to others expectations. However I have never felt like I have lived up to peoples expectations, which is how the girl in this poem felt when she said “But me myself I got nothing to prove” (Chapman 8). This girl feels hopeless, insecure and she can not live up to other people’s expectations because she’s to busy helping her alcoholic father and she can’t do anything for herself.

I feel as though teenagers feel hopeless sometimes too, because we are not adults so we get treated like kids, like we are not capable of things. At times this is true, however it is also true that sometimes we need to know how it feels to be able to do things on our own and be able to put things in our own hands, like the girl did in the narrative lyric by saving up money to go to a better place in life.

“Let the annual Hunger Games begin” (The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins). This novel is about Katniss a teenager that provides for her family because her father dies and her mother is in a depression from his death. As the annual Hunger Games approach which means you have to fight for your life to either die or win for a life of luxury, Katniss’s sister Primrose is selected, but Katniss sacrifices her self because she’d rather die than have her sister pass. From there, she gets treated like royalty at The Capital before the great war to get a feel for how her life can be, and starts to fall for a boy.

She and her lover battle all of these people, and end up winning the game and get treated to a life time of wealth and luxury. This compares to the poem because Katniss starts out with a rough life just like the girl in the lyric, but uses hope and determination to get through their battles, only to get to a brighter future, because if they didn’t have hope and determination they would both have a sad and short lived life.

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