Analysis Of Allen Ginsberg 's ' Howl ' Essay

Analysis Of Allen Ginsberg 's ' Howl ' Essay

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Allen Ginsberg’s, “Howl”, was written 100 years later than Walt Whitman’s, “Song of Myself”. These two poems share similarities of speaking on America but in different time eras. Whitman’s poem inspired Ginsberg to write an extension of his poem by remixing it in a more angry and free willed way. By revising the style and the theme of Whitman’s poem, Ginsberg revisits and repurposes it with a strong expression of how much he disagrees with the judgmental American society he’s living in in a very obscene way while also embracing who he really is and not denying it.
Of course Ginsberg is not angry at Whitman, nor disagreeing. Ginsberg is just flat out unhappy with the American way of life that he’s living in. He’s angry with hope for the America in his time era to be the America Whitman describes in his poem. Clearly Ginsberg is highly disappointed with his country. He explains in his first line of “Howl” how he “saw the best minds” of his “generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked”(2540). He modifies how the best minds of his generation is being destroyed by capitalism, industrialization, and judgement.
While Whitman had mainly celebratory lines in his poem, it was not hard to miss the unappreciated lines in Ginsberg’s poem. You could tell he felt disowned and cheated by his own country. To him, America made him feel like an outcast, like he didn 't belong. For example, Whitman speaks positivity to his readers about life when he says, “It is not chaos or death-- it is form, union, plan--it is eternal life--it is happiness” (1066). However, Ginsberg goes a different direction replying to the generation that “ with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand year...


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...ing that wanted relationship with Whitman as they are strolling through the streets, “..dreaming of the lost America”(2548).
The experience of exploring Whitman and Ginsberg’s poems about how they view life and the world itself was an adventure to the mind. In Whitman’s “Song of Myself”, he describes how we should open our eyes more to the world, look deeper into our own souls and compare it to the wondrous things of the life we live in. Ginsberg 's, “Howl”, throws out to us in a more censored way about how he views our generation through his own eyes. Ginsberg revisits Whitman’s poem with a more irritable manner in order to get his point across to the audience that his feelings about the American society he lives in is not the same joyful and free spirited society Whitman portrayed his to be in his days, but he is still optimistic about the future of his country.

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