Howl William Ginsberg Analysis

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“Howl” by Allen Ginsberg is a reflection of what he thinks to be the best minds of the 1950s and how they self-destructed from the pressure of many societal factors. It is broken down into three sections with each section being an extended, single thought on a single subject. Each section ultimately asks one of three questions: who, what, and where. In Section I, Ginsberg discusses who was destroyed by the societal factors of the 1950s. He calls these people “the best minds of my generation” (p. 2540). It soon becomes known that the “best minds” (p. 2540) are not the same as what would be considered the best minds today. These people were not doctors, lawyers, and scientists, but they were the outcasts of the conformist and materialistic mindset of the 1950s. He continues on to give detailed descriptions of who these…show more content…
2546), where Ginsberg met the man addressed, Carl Solomon. Rockland is actually the Columbia Presbyterian Psychiatric Institute. Ginsberg answers the question where in this section by exploring Solomon’s existence within the institute. It is showing the progression of Solomon’s madness. Solomon represents the postwar way of life of going against the social norms. These actions are a rebellion of against Moloch and the idol of conformity. As time progressed, these countercultural acts seemed to escalate causing people to self-destruct into madness. Allen Ginsberg uses the poem “Howl” to criticize the institutions and American culture of the 1950s. In three sections, he answers the questions who, what, and where to blame society for the destruction and sacrifice of the American people. These people were oppressed by the conformist and materialistic ideologies of this time that they started to act in rebellion against it. These rebellious acts of the “best minds” against “Moloch” continued to progress until they were “destroyed by madness” like Solomon progressed into
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