Analysis Of Howl By Allen Ginsberg

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“I don’t think there is any truth. There are only points of view.” Allen Ginsberg’s famous quote is one that inspires the continued analysis and explication of poetry. Poetry is so important because much like jazz, it has a form all of its own. Poetry has no boundaries and can be created on the fly. And without the continued analysis and emphasis on great poetic works, like “Howl,” young writers would be dissuaded to take up the art form. To this day, scholars and students alike have continued to analyze “Howl’s” meaning and cultural significance as a work that was a game-changer for jazz poets. Ginsberg dedicated “Howl” to Carl Solomon, who was a writer he met during an eight month stay he had at the Columbia Presbyterian Psychiatric …show more content…
Again, Ginsberg’s wordplay takes center-stage in his writing as he highlights the word, “What,” which begins each line. The shift in Ginsberg’s writing becomes more erratic as his anger boils over into his work as he provides the reader with “what” was responsible for not just the destruction of great minds, but also the sacrifice of Americans’ freedoms: Moloch. Ginsberg exalts in this section, “Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic industries! spectral nations! invincible mad houses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!”(88) In the Hebrew Bible, Moloch was an idolatrous god to whom children were sacrificed by placing them in fire. For Ginsberg, Moloch is significant in showing how America is sacrificing its freedoms, much like Moloch sacrificed children, for the machine that has become an American capitalist state. As Frank Casale wrote in “Literary Contexts in Poetry: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl,’” “The Beats… saw older American expressions of individuality being replaced by corporatism, strip malls, and tract housing, all of which stressed similarity and conformity instead of difference and individuality.” Ginsberg simply extended on that notion that Moloch’s “monstrous bombs” were destroying youth and love while stripping away ones …show more content…
Just as he was quoted that there are no truths, only points of view, “Howl” took a stand as a demonstrative point of view long before anyone even realized its meaning and purpose. “Howl” was written in 1955 – well before the Civil Rights movement or Vietnam were known to cause such an upheaval in the United States. Ginsberg wrote “Howl” to sound off and stand up to the machine he saw America becoming. This American machine was destroying too many great minds and even better friends, alike. It was an important indicator of the changing climate in American Society as an early pulse-check on the swath of upheaval that was just a short decade away. Most importantly, “Howl’s” powerful individuality set it apart and made a statement for the Beat poetry movement. With Ginsberg’s use of wordplay, imagery and tone, he howls against everything in our mechanistic civilization which kills the spirit, assuming that the louder you shout the more likely you are to be

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