"And you"ll be sorry that you messed with the US of A," exclaims Toby Keith in his song "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (The Angry American)." In this excerpt, Toby Keith threatens anyone who has harmed the United States. Throughout his song, Keith uses symbolism, personification, and archetypes to show the strength and unity of the Unites States.
Though personification may sometimes seem unusual, as objects display human characteristics, it is appropriate for certain topics. In the case of Keith's song, America is a woman who can take care of herself. "[N]ow this nation a mighty sucker punch came flyin" in soon as we could see clearly through our big black eye we light of your world like the 4th of July." Here Keith displays America as a person who has been stricken and is now injured with a black eye. Though evident, Keith is also showing how America can be hurt but when able to operate, America, along with the American people, will fight back. Besides being injured, America also has "people" standing by her side with full support. "[A]nd the Statue of Liberty started shakin" her fist man, it's gonna be hell." Here, the Statue of Liberty not only gets outraged by the injustice done to America, but she also might distribute revenge on the attackers of America. Keith gives nonhuman objects human characteristics to express the strength and unity of the United States.
Keith uses symbolism to show America's strength. People will not sit still when being disturbed. "[T]his big dog will fight when you rattle his cage]." Keith explains how America's bite is just as big as her bark and she will attack when provoked. When America is in a time of need, her people will answer her call. "[H]ey Uncle Sam put your name at the top of his list." In that excerpt, Uncle Sam is depicted as a person when in actuality it is a nickname for the government. As Keith advises people to put their name at the top of his list, they are realistically enlisting in the military and are promising to uphold America's honor and defend her.