The Irony in the New Romance

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Taylor Swift- New Romantics

In her latest song “New Romantics,” Taylor Swift has created a national anthem for our generation’s relationship woes. It is known that Swift has had a few problems with relationships in the past herself, but in “New Romantics,” she takes the approach of criticizing our idea of a relationship. I argue that Swift is using a form of irony to poke fun at the new idea of romance.

The Scarlet Letter

In a line of Swift’s song, she refers to people wearing scarlet letters and declares, “mine is better.” A scarlet letter, however, is “a scarlet A worn as a punitive mark of adultery,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The letter made famous by the book The Scarlet Letter is not considered an item to be proud of. Instead, one was warn with shame and punishment for the person’s adulterous ways. Taylor Swift is taking this idea and turning it into something good by saying that we all wear one and hers is better. She is poking fun at the idea of adopting the hook-up culture and not pursuing serious relationship. She adds to this idea of poking fun by saying “Heart break is the national anthem We sing it proudly.” Heartbreak is not something that people are proud of. It also alludes to the idea that we embrace heartbreak as a nation; however, we shouldn’t accept a nation where heartbreak and a scarlet letter is the norm. We should be singing anthems of wholeness and healthy relationships.

The Irony

Swift has had enough experience to realize that everything she is singing is true; however, there shouldn’t be acceptance with these new ideas of romance our nation has created. She sings about them in all seriousness, but I don’t think she truly believes that this is the way our relationships should be. She is using irony to express her true feelings on this “new romance.”

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