Howls By Allen Ginsberg's Howl And The Beat Generation

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Over the decades, art has been used as a weapon against the callousness of various social constructs - it has been used to challenge authority, to counter ideologies, to get a message across and to make a difference. In the same way, classical poetry and literature written by minds belonging to a different time, a different place and a different community have somehow found a way to transcend the boundaries set by time and space and have been carried through the ages to somehow seep into contemporary times and shape our society in ways we cannot fathom.

Widely recognized as an American classic, Howl by Allen Ginsberg of The Beat Generation is a poem that managed to have a powerful influence on the American society in the 50s - the impact
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Kill Your Darlings (2013) is another biographical film starring Daniel Radcliffe that’s based on the Beat Movement – both films categorized under the ‘indie’ genre.

A few cases in which this poem is particularly relevant in today’s society, apart from just the general hipster culture, is the fact that in many ways we’re faced with similar issues of social oppression of certain sects of the population, homophobia, discord amongst different cultures and excessive consumerism – all these being matters than Ginsberg felt strongly about and sought to fight against.

Howl is a representation of a very stereotypical ‘drugs, philosophy, music and sex’ driven young adult, college life that is so often accused of pretentiousness – and maybe in this era that is true. We have rights and liberties that the youth of the 50s didn’t enjoy – so what are we fighting for? Our reasons may not be as great as those of the decades gone by, but we have our battles nevertheless. Our society’s not perfect, but we are heading towards a brighter future – at least in the minds of young, creative idealists we are. For many reasons, Howl remains the voice of every generation at some point in time – it is a reflection of the impulsive drive of the youth of every era, itching to make a

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