Pink Floyd's The Wall


“The Wall” (1982), screen written by Roger Waters, composed by Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Bob Ezrin directed by Alan Parker  Animated and Designed by Gerald Scarfe, Cinematographer by Peter Biziou, and Producer by Alan Marshall.

The Wall is an artistic depiction of British life after World War II as seen through the eyes of an orphan, a situation that many post-war children unfortunately found themselves in. The film follows the coming of age of the main character, Pink, based on the Pink Floyd member Roger Waters.

 As he grows, we see the conflicting feelings he has about women because of his relationship with his mother, allowing himself to isolate himself behind the proverbial “wall”. The social injustices he sees, his fathers death, the post war culture, his relationship with women/mother, etc. are all the “bricks” in this metaphorical wall. As he reckons with everything, his “wall” comes crashing down, forcing him into an isolated fugue state, much like the political climate following WWII. The historical importance can be explained and analyzed, but the pairing with the visual metaphors and surrealistic psychedelic experience,shows the true significance this work of art has even now.

 The movie also shows the pain felt by the nation as a whole through metaphorical symbolism. We see the dove of peace being destroyed in the impending attack by the German Eagle (representing German bombers), spreading fascist beliefs and casting their shadow on the generations to follow; leaving mothers to become overly protective. 

This results in the sense of isolation and alienation, inevitably causing the child to respond with a fear of the outside world and everyone in it, thus perpetuating facism. It also touched on the anti-semitic culture exacerbated by WWII as well as images directly inspired by the fascist ideologies that grew in Britain at the time. It demonstrates the isolation felt by many in the country and how those experiences shaped the lives of future political leaders.

Sundermann, Libi and Joshua Scullin. "We Do Need an Education: Teaching Pink Floyd: The Wall." World History Connected, vol. 16, no. 2, 2019, pp. 36 pars. Accessed 9 Nov. 2023,

Parker, A. (1982). Pink Floyd: The Wall. MGM/UA Entertainment Company.

Reisch, George A. Pink Floyd and Philosophy: Careful with That Axiom, Eugene! Open Court, 2010.