Subverting Misconceptions

After listening to “Runaway Love” in class this week, I have a much greater appreciation for the song and more clearly grasp how it subverts long-held misconceptions about domestic abuse and children who run away. Like Henry, my understanding of the song during my childhood was not significant, but as I listened to the song a second time and read the lyrics several elements stood out to me. One element that particularly stood out to me outside of class is how the song disrupts misconceptions about children who run away. I remember how during my childhood the media, oftentimes, depicted children who ran away from home as rebels and kids who were up to no good. Although some movies and television series painted kids who ran away in a more favorable light, as people simply trying to remove themselves from a dangerous situation, such representations were usually minimal. Through the repetition of the line “Runaway Love” followed by three different girls’ life stories, this song rewrites the narrative of children who run away. It also gives strength to children who are trapped in domestic abuse situations by showing them that they are not alone and provides them with a way out. I think it was fitting that Henry chose this song for this week because many of the women in Longing to Tell were sexually abused and felt as though they did not have a way out.


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