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3 Doors Down; The Search For The Better Life Essay, Research Paper


We spend our lives searching for that something or someone that can fill the void and makes life’s trials bearable. The motif for the freshmen album from 3 Doors Down deals with this idea of finding “The Better Life.” Tracks 1, 3, and 5, titled “Kryptonite,” “Duck and Run,” and “Be Like That,” use the idea of the quest for the better life to explain the motif contained throughout the album. The three tracks discuss three different ideas of achieving the better life; find your true love, figuring out how to get somewhere in this world, and our desire to walk in someone else’s shoes.

“Kryptonite,” the album’s first track, is about a man who is trying to find someone to be there for him through thick and thin. It focuses on the idea that in this world no one will stand by your side unless you are “superman.” The lyrics discuss a relationship in which he is pondering whether she’ll be there for him even in the tough times: “If I go crazy then will you still call me Superman? If I’m alive and well, will you be there holding my hand.” He unfortunately discovers that though he is selfless in giving, she will not be the one to stand by his side during the tough times: “You took for granted all the times I never let you down.” The song ends with his realization that he must continue on his quest to find that someone that will help him find his “Better Life.”

The third track on the album, “Duck and Run,” embodies the idea that the world is not a nice place and things are not always just and fair. The band discusses their ideas that it is hard to get anywhere in this world; the idea that the harder you work, the less you see from it. He says: “All my work and endless measures never seem to get me very far. Walk a mile just to move an inch now, even though I’m trying so damn hard, I’m trying so hard.” This track ends on an optimistic note, stating that he will not let the world bring him down: “And I won’t duck and run, cause I’m not built that way.” “Duck and Run” leaves us with the notion that no matter how hard life get, you can not give up because sooner or later you will see the benefits of your hard work.

“Be Like That,” the fifth track on the album deals with the way we all want to have someone else’s life. As the clich? goes, the grass is greener on the other side. The opening verse of the song deals with one man’s dream of one day achieving the Hollywood life:

“He spends his nights in California, watching the stars on the big screen. Then he lies awake and wonders, why can’t that be me? Cause in his life he’s filled with all these good intentions.”

Though he has all these good intentions in his life, it seems nothing ever turns out the way he wants it to. The second verse talks about a girl who watches people walk by, and wishes that her life could be as perfect as theirs appear to be. She wants someone that will be there by her side: “She spends her days up in the north park, watching the people as they pass…all she wants is just that something to hold onto, that’s all she needs.” “Be Like That” embraces the idea that we all want what someone else has, or in most cases what someone else only appears to have.

In examining these three tracks from “The Better Life,” the first album from 3 Doors Down, we find that the motif of the album is the discussion of the idea that in some form or another we are all looking for a better life. Some of us want a better job, some wish to find their true love, and some want simply to be able to walk in someone else’s shoes that we think has achieved the better life. The album leaves you with a rejuvenated spirit and a sense that perhaps someday in the near future you will find that something or someone to give you “The Better Life.”

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