Free Essay Analyzing Allen Ginsberg's Poem Howl

Published: 2022-06-02
Free Essay Analyzing Allen Ginsberg's Poem Howl
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Poem
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 907 words
8 min read

Beat poetry refers to a poetry movement in the United States of America that began in the 1940s and rose to utter fame in the 1950s. It aimed at passing messages more of enlightening in the society to do away with too much of conforming to the generally fixed beliefs and norms. It hence aimed at revolutionizing the commonly accepted modes of conduct and instead embraces change brought about the highly welcomed creativity that went as far as human brain might. Art was used as a tool for challenging the status quo of such areas as materialistic tendencies of societal members, ascertaining the norms and values of the society, looking into the variety of existing spiritualties as well as probing the normative of societal sexuality. Among such poets is Allen Ginsberg, and he uses his poem, Howl, to expound on such elements. He employs some literary devices to emphasize his message. Some of them include the use of themes, imagery, and symbolism.

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To begin with, the theme of rules and order used help in understanding the poem well. His poem, Howl, majorly centers on the defiance of the established and seemingly accepted societal laws. It is through such a tendency where the theme is characterizing its roots from. Since Allen Ginsberg firmly believed that the severity of societal laws in areas such as the discharge of justice and the current health systems was to blame for the retarded creativity of a people who would otherwise have invented more adaptive and favorable terms in such areas. He ironically refers to those opposed to his writings as 'the best minds of my generation.' The poem praises people deemed to get used to political wars, contraband dealing in and smuggling drugs, taking to public sex as well as those who conspire revolts and jumping off the bridges. In this way, the theme of rules and order helps in insightfully understanding the poem, Howl.

Additionally, the theme of madness is transient in the poem, Howl. It turns out that Allen Ginsberg is trying to depict how controversial the events seem to be in the society. What is cognitively and rationally correct and of the required course has been converted the other way round and deemed incoherent and ill tarnished. Conversely, the things that are supposed to get harsh criticism and repudiation seems to get embrace. It is through such an instance where madness seems relative. The people considered by the society as mentally retarded are taken as being misunderstood in the poem, yet those rational and free thinking are taken as mad. When Allen Ginsberg meets his friend Solomon in Columbia Presbyterian Psychiatric Hospital, he thought that Solomon was an artist with a prowess yet was just affected by the psychiatric treatment from the doctors. In Howls, such doctors are subjected to suspicion owing to their apparent incompetence, whereby hallucinations and real visions are seen as signs of godly connection. Among Allen's, most memorable experience is when he encountered a vision where William Blake read his poem so loudly. Hence, madness is a theme evident in such instances, used ironically and allusively.

Besides, the theme of religion surfaces in Howl. There are names picked and are associated with various religious backgrounds and traditions. They range from the Hebrew, Christianity, Islamic and orthodox religions; as shown in the many lines of the poem. Some of them; lines; can get to be considered as heresies by religions such as orthodox, as seen when in the suggested that there is no need for the idea about a 'supernatural' Christ Jesus. He also mentions Mohamed, the center of the Islamic religion. In this way, the poet passes across the message that there is no need of patiently following the dictates, dogmas and rules of affixed by traditions, and the need to accommodate divergence - ascertaining his semblance of social and literary revolution.

Imagery and symbolism used also plays a significant role in comprehending Howl, the beat poetry. Madness has been used to depict a kind of state laden with visions and hallucinations, symbolically. It can too be horrifying as see when Solomon thinks he is losing 'the game of the actual ping pong of the abyss.' A lot many other instances have madness use as imagery. It is seen in the first line where there is an image of the mad friends belonging to the narrator, as 'starving hysterical naked.' In line eight, there is an image of the victims of paranoia. Their rooms are personified as 'unshaven,' yet in the actual sense; those living there have not shaven. They correlate the way they appear in such environments. Drugs are also used as imagery in Howl. The drug addicts' lives get described as though they are angelic yet the consequences of their drug immersion are not becoming. In line two of the poem Howl, the word 'fix' is used to mean the taking of enough drug that will have a considerable effect on the consumer until the next dose is taken. Both the imagery and symbolism stresses and emphasizes the message and understanding of the poem.

Cumulatively, Allen Ginsberg has employed imagery, symbolic and thematic concerns in his poem, Howl. All help in the vivid understanding of such a beat poem which was aimed at brainwashing and sensitizing on the relevance of the existing societal norms, as well as the shedding off of some malpractices and embracing creativity for their sake.

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