Howl by Allen Ginsberg: Analysis

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Blunt Society's Impacts on Poets

Howl by Allen Ginsberg: Introduction

In the 20th century, the world faced serious issues, and society's degeneracy provides issues to seen as unchangeable values. The corruption in society divides individuals to embrace several perspectives. Therefore, individuals have been divided into groups according to their perspectives—however, the way of living has been guarded by-laws and order. Moreover, divided perspectives and thoughts started to be seen in artworks such as poems. Artists' self-expression should be seen as a reflection of society because the artist is living in society, and the problems in society affect them as they affect others.

Body Paragraphs

Moreover, the world evolved during the 20th century; society changed over the years because of the improvements. However, individuals felt loneliness, and they could not fit them into the world. Every decade brought different values to the world; for example, the values of the 50s and 60s were not the same. In addition, art evolved with the changing values, and art leads individuals to different perspectives during certain times in the 20th century. This paper focuses on two artists who changed the perspectives of society with their poems in the 20th century. In addition, in this paper, I argue that the world is evolving because precursor artists prepare a background for the evolving and changing for better.

Furthermore, both Langston Hughes and Allen Ginsberg brought different perspectives into society. In addition, they bravely self-expressed themselves due to their emotions about the way they were living. They both criticize the concepts in society. Moreover, their experiences in life represented in their poems. However, the 20th century showed that simple difference like ethnic changed artist's concerns in life and also changed their experiences.

The themes that both artists use in their poems are both similar and different because these two poetries have different ethnicities but the same concerns about identity crises. Langston Hughes was a successful black man who is born in 1902. In addition, he is the first black man who earned his living by his writings. In 1920, the Harlem Renaissance-inspired his poems. Therefore, he embraced Harlem's culture because Jazz was popular in their community. Basically, Jazz was playing by Afro- Americans. He raised questions in his poems about Afro-Americans were the second class citizens, which was then encouraged by the laws. Allen Ginsberg is inspired by Harlem Culture, like Hughes. However, he was a white Jewish man, and he was born in 1926. He represented the first generation after the II. World War. He wrote the Howl poem, which is seen as the manifest to the Beat generation. His experiences and concerns were different than Hughes because he saw the corrupted parts of the American Dream. His main concern was the demolish the perspectives about the dream. He revealed the ignored parts in society, the world was evolving during the 50s and 60s.

Moreover, he was part of these evolving because he examined his own nature and society. He used rhythms in his poems like Hughes. However, he was experiencing freedom due to his perspective about staying outside the set frames. Therefore, he examined the way of living in New York. In other words, the world was evolving, but society was not ready to hear perspectives about these themes, and society needed time these situations drove Allen to loneliness. Moreover, he was interested in ignored parts of society, that is the reason why he used themes like drug culture, homosexuality, and mental illnesses. In addition, some of the drugs like amfetamine were legal in the 50s, and individuals had easy access to the drugs. However, in the 60s, the drugs became illegal due to this change, he responded back to power sources in his poems.

Also, his mother was supporting Communism, and Allen went on meeting with his mother at an early age. In this sense, Communism was not an acceptable political approach in the United States. In addition, he used the theme of loneliness. He wrote the My Sad Self, and he mentioned that the capitalist mechanization brought him loneliness because he could not stand its order. However, he was the precursor to evolving for the better. Moreover, he used the theme of homosexuality, but he did not say it straight, he used metaphors to tell it. s drugs, homosexuality, and madness.

On the other hand, Afro-Americans suffered from various injustice in society because of their color, and the time Hughes was born, the world was treating them cruelly. Racism was a part of society that most of the white people embraced it. Hughes mainly criticized the American dream idea, which was then seen to be embraced by Americans. However, black people were not part of the American dream because there was a patriarchal system in society. Black people worked more but earned less because of this system, and the world needed change about this perspective.

However, Hughes was giving hope to the community that one day this system will change. Therefore, his poems became a background to Afro-Americans to gain equality in society. Hughes represented the Harlem Renaissance and wrote his poems with the inspiring of Jazz and Blues. He synchronized his poems with the beats or rhythms. Moreover, he used themes such as dreams, alienation, and loneliness. In addition, he criticized that Afro-Americans are bound by a psychological barrier which is restrained their dreams. He gave hope to the community. In other words, he has an hopeful saying in his poems.

Howl's poem analysis Ginsberg’s perspective and his metaphors that he used to process themes. These themes include sexuality, drug culture, madness, mental illness, politics, religion, war, capitalism, creative inspiration, and future hopes of the next generation. In this sense, entry sentences hit the reader about his themes. "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix" in this sentence he is saying that drug addiction of his friends lead them to madness, and they are searching drugs in Afro-American's street and he is using the angry fix as a metaphor. However, he is trying to tell that the madness actually does not come from drugs, and this quote supports his idea "who thought they were only mad when Baltimore gleamed in supernatural ecstasy." After all, he criticizes capitalist order by these words "who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism" because tobacco companies made commercials about cigarettes are healthy for individuals, but later they had to confess that cigarettes are harmful to human health. Allen saw this conflict in the capitalist system, and he criticized the methods used in the capitalist system to earn more money. In addition, tobaccos are a metaphor for analysis the society’s problems in the capitalist system.

Eventually, he whispers the homosexuality in these words "who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists and screamed with joy” ("Howl by Allen," 2020). Therefore, he is using imaginary to define homosexualism. Moreover, he uses the word negros to define black people. In this sense might be seen as he is sharing the same perspective with other white people about Afro-Americans. Arguably he not open-minded about Afro-American's equality. However, he admires the Jazz and Blues. He is using the rhythms in his poems and he is using the complex sentences to define his proposes.

Howl Analysis: Conclusion

To sum up, the problems in the 20th century are different in the first quarter and the last quarter. Therefore, one can argue that the world evolved in the 20th century. Artists were criticizing the inequality to Afro-Americans in the first quarter of the 20th century. However, Artists like Allen Ginsberg ignored their efforts and used words like negros in their poems. Moreover, the world evolved the way that Hughes wanted, and his concerns create a background for this change. In addition, Hughes was trying to reach the American dream, but the dream was corrupting in the second half of the 20th century. Therefore, Allen Ginsbergs revealed the ignored part of the American dream because, according to his ideas, individuals were living in madness due to capitalist mechanisms and several other problems in the society, such as drug addiction, which has caused mental illnesses. However, he brought sexuality into the surface, and society learned things. Arguably, maybe they were not ready to learn about homosexuality, but Ginsberg created a background for the acceptance of homosexuality. Therefore, the artist changed the evolving process in the 20th century.

References

Ginsberg, Allen. “Howl by Allen Ginsberg.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation.

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Zendaya Kane
Zendaya Kane
Content Lead at Tamara Research. Major in Advertising, loves working.

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