Analysis Of Allen Ginsberg 's ' Howl ' Essay

Analysis Of Allen Ginsberg 's ' Howl ' Essay

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Circumscribed, yet Not Alone

Reality is the distillation of perception. Many of us were thrusted into various lifestyles that forged our own vision of the world. Each individual has their own adversities in life, and it feels as if one goes through this internal conflict alone. During the 1950’s, Allen Ginsberg saw various degrees of insanity that diffused across the American landscape. This type of madness associates with the trials and tribulations a man might go through in life. Within the poem HOWL, Ginsberg expresses that despite the long road ahead in life, we are not fighting adversity solo, and that there are different ways to gain inner peace to cope with the head games life plays with us.
One of these head games is change. In the world that we live in, everything is within motion. Nothing is stagnant, unless we are all dead. In Ginsberg’s poem HOWL, he outlines that change is on the rise and that his poems “announced for the future…” (Lee page 367). The future that Ginsberg talks about includes but not limited to “overlapping social movements-gay liberation and the antiwar movement, in particular-that gained momentum in the United States…” (Lee page 368). For Ginsberg, there was a shift in his philosophies. He was more oriented towards social matters, hence the “political cultures and practices of the New Left” (Lee 367). This so-called “new left” deviates from the “old left”- which “was a movement of blue-collar workers out to get a better deal for themselves. It was a heavily unionized movement…” (The New Left vs. The Old Left par. 3). In Ginsberg’s case, his focus was on social reformation to gain peace of mind in the life he was living in. His poems became “the embodiment of the ideals of personal fr...


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...ng that society views negatively, Ginsberg turns the other cheek. Additionally, Ginsberg satirically uses the word “holy” as a means of accepting the fact that one man alone cannot buck the system (aka Moloch the institution). Instead of trying to change society, he searches for the good, “the Angel in Moloch!” (line 124).
Gaining a sense of peace seems very difficult during the 1950’s. It appears that in order to have a sense of tranquility in one’s life, external factors influence the internal, not the other way around. Often as a society, we aim for a quick-fix to dealing with our problems. We might use alcohol or drugs to temporarily null the situation, but not necessarily the smartest way to go about doing so. For Ginsberg, to gain a peace of mind was to write down unorthodox poems. This was his way of dealing with the head games that life plays with him.

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