Against The Norm In Howl By Allen Ginsberg

1198 Words 5 Pages
Against the Norm
Whether we realize it or not, our environment has great influence on the way we act every single day. Society tells us who to be, when we should be, how we should be, and if we defy society, we are wrong. Today’s society is not much different from society in the 50’s. Both the 50’s and modern societies create imaginary guidelines for people to live by. Allen Ginsberg steps out of mainstream society by creating the poem “Howl.” He speaks what others are afraid to speak. In the 1950’s, it was against the law in every state to be openly gay. However, this did not stop Ginsberg from expressing his sexuality throughout “Howl.” Ginsberg experienced a rollercoaster of events throughout his life. He was kicked out of multiple schools
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Imagine the perfect two-story house in the suburbs surrounded by a white picket fence, and luscious green grass filling the front lawn. Dad is in his black business suit getting the newspaper full of current events. Mom is out in the front lawn with a beige visor protecting her soft skin from the rays of sunlight as she sprays water onto the plants in her garden. Brother and sister laughing and running across the yard chasing one another throwing a little red ball trying not to let the family dog slobber all over it. Everything is perfect. If this is the great American dream, we all fail at success. Contradicting the American dream, part one of “Howl” describes Ginsberg’s chaotic lifestyle “with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls” (line 11). This line defies all of societies expectations. His sexual desires for another man and drug and alcohol abuse is not easily accepted in American culture. This shows boldness by Ginsberg because he did what he wanted to do to make himself happy on his own …show more content…
He becomes furious with America for destroying uniqueness by creating “mind[s] of pure machinery” (line 83). American culture and society brainwashes people’s standards of rights and wrongs. Convincing them to believe that if you are gay, you are mentally ill. Part two uses the term “Moloch” multiple times as a symbol for American society. Ginsberg exclaims relentlessly that “Moloch” is the cause of destruction, and that Moloch destroys “visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies!. . . Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions”(lines 91-92). Ginsberg is saying the American culture and society is depriving people from originality. Unlike the rest, Ginsberg breaks away from conformity. He does not care what anyone thinks about him; he is whom he chooses to be and no one can tell him otherwise. His tone in this part is angry because this monster named America is converting the “best minds” into

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