The Story of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” Part 2: Inside the Wall
Inside the Wall
(Hey You – Bring the Boys Back Home)
As soon as Pink enters the wall, he begins to question whether or not he’s made the right decision. He spends most of the first song in this section, “Hey You,” calling out to anyone that will help him join the world he just left behind. He still has some grudges of his former self, asking people to feel him, to touch him. Once he realizes that no one is out there, Pink starts to notice the consequences of him building the wall and the expansiveness of this self-induced isolation. At this point, the listener starts to notice how fractured Pink’s psyche truly is as he realizes the consequences of a disconnect from the world. Though he tries to reach out to the outside world, Pink has become rather unsuccessful in his attempts and believes that everything he once loved is beyond his reach. Pink realizes that he needs help, but can’t leave the hotel room. This can be seen by the multiple times in which a tv has played in the back of multiple songs, showing that he hasn’t left his room. Void of happiness and true connection, Pink starts to mention the luxuries he has around him, noticing that they are meaningless things. Pink also begins to realize how he messed up during his time in the real world. One example of this is his ‘strong urge to fly.’ He states that he has this strong urge to fly yet he does not have the freedom to fly, because he neglected the things that could keep him happy. He has nowhere to fly to, no one to love him. This causes him to continue this meaningless list.
Desperate for any sort of happiness, Pink regresses to times during World War 2, when the sky was still dark, but Vera Lynn played on the radios. He connects with Vera Lynn because he believe she instilled hope into a country that was torn apart by the War. He calls out to her, asking for help to instill hope into himself, because he has been torn apart by his hatred of society. As he thinks more and more about World War 2, his mind strays to his Father’s death, leading him to feel devastated and allude to this chant to bring all the soldiers back from the war. To end the struggle.
(Comfortably Numb – The Show Must Go On)
“Comfortably Numb” refers to the bump Pink’s rode down memory lane hits when his management crew breaks into his hotel room to give him drugs. The song is in the perspective of the doctor, who is trying to take Pink out of this trance. While this may seem like a saving grace for Pink, the drug administered to him is solely for his ability to perform during the show, which refers to an actual show in which Pink plays in. The drugs put into Pink infuses different thoughts of his childhood, school teachers, his dad, the war into his brain. He seems to be falling into a worse state of mental decay; he has lost all feelings, he has forgotten the words to his own song. These, however, don’t stop him because “the Show must go on.”
(In The Flesh – Waiting for the Worms)
As Pink starts his show, he spirals into full mental insanity. The dangerous parts of his brain, those seen in “One of My Turns” and “Another Brick in the Wall Part 3,” seem to have taken over Pink’s psyche. Pink’s mindset transforms into one of a fascist dictator who tries to sway Pink’s audience into allegiance with the fascist regime. He opens the same way that the album opens, though he acknowledges that Pink is still in the hotel, he’s not doing very well, and that he has to check where their allegiances lie. This includes multiple sections of Pink calling up multiple people from the crowd and telling them that he’d have them shot. Pink is not a racist character, the dictator presents the shadow of modern day society. Pink further threatens his audience who steps out of line. The song “Waiting for the Worms” depicts the decay of the human psyche throughout history resulting from years of social exclusion and confinement. While focusing on the character of this fascist dictator, Pink does not try to focus in on one leader. He spends more time, rather, including a range of fascist leaders, ideals, and more to frame this extreme dictator personality. However, this personality does not take over, Pink gains some ground back as he realizes his delusion.
“Leaving the Wall”
(Stop – The Trial)
As the Dictator seems to be taking over Pink’s psyche, Pink lashes out as he realizes the depth to which he has fallen into this shadow of isolation and ignorance. In the song “Stop,” Pink states to the audience that he wants to leave, but he can’t until he knows if he has been ‘guilty’ of putting himself in this corrupted state. To find if he’s guilty, Pink convicts and puts himself on trial. The trial is conducted by the bricks on the wall, each with their own judgements of Pink. His mother calls upon the judge to let her take her little baby home. The teacher blames his mal judgements on the artists who injected their bleeding hearts into his head, and that he could fix it with beatings. His wife blames Pink’s career on their split. As the trial ends, Pink finds himself guilty for the creation of the wall, but he also believes that he is capable of connecting with the outside world. This ultimately calls for his sentence being the destruction of the wall, with the chants “tear down the wall” plaguing the background of the song.
Outside the Wall
As the wall comes down, Pink realizes that walls should be destroyed, rather than erected. We currently live in a world in which personal and social barriers are erected out of fear, isolation, and pain. People in every society shouldn’t allow those barriers to take precedence over what really matters in society, which is the ideology of community. Pink realizes that the role of every individual in society is to never stop the continuous mission in tearing down the walls set by government, or other influential groups, to make a more together society.
Isn’t This Where…
At this point, a faint noise in the background utters the words “isn’t this where…” an incomplete sentence. At first glance, this could mean the start of a new chapter for Pink, or Roger Waters, until we take a look at the first words of this album, “we came in.” As one listens to the album on loop, these fragments form the phrase, “isn’t this where we came in.” The album loops. This opens the album up for interpretation, the first of which being that Roger Waters’ is still going through this today. This ideology shows that while it is desirable to view the world in a certain light, breaking down the barriers set to divide us, it is not always rational in Pink’s eyes. Some barriers cannot be broken. Some people will never change. Some skies aren’t blue.