How does the theme of  High Fidelity connect to popular music?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In the strangest of ways, I sense that there might be a connection between the novel's themes and the idea of popular music.  One of the reasons why Rob and his prejudices against pop music are so strong is that he feels that it is not an authentic representation of what music is supposed to be.  Yet, in a twist, the lack of authenticity and meaning critique against pop music is applicable to Rob's own emotional demeanor and his emotional condition in regards to women, and particularly, Laura.  The lack of roots and sense of depth that pop music contains, something that offends Rob's sensibilities is what lies at the basis of his own lack of emotional maturity.  His willingness to come around at the end of the novel is a reflection of how he is forced to grow up and abandon some of his own previous preconceptions.  The fact that he almost falls for the reporter at the end of the novel, but does not indicates that he is moving into an emotional realm that is less like pop music and more like the music that he would feature on his own lists of favorite music.


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