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Gingsberg Believes America's Youth Must Live up to Expectations

Decent Essays
Young nonconformists reveal how one particular mode of idealizing youth is an American convention that hinders the progress of past and present generations. The speaker proposes an alternative way to idealize youth because young Americans can disrupt expectations and enforce change. Celebrating young Americans who do not live up to America’s expectations allows Ginsberg to celebrate the majority of young people. Realizing the harmful effects that stem from idealizing youth forces the speaker to look to the past. Ben Lee suggests:
Ginsberg’s use of anaphora forces us to question the historical origins of both social afflictions and collective resistance in Howl, this blurring of the poet’s central objects of identification implies that his lamentation for the madness of his own generation is also a lamentation for the blighted hopes and wasted intellects of their precursors (384).
Lee notices that Ginsberg’s use of anaphora questions “the historical origins of both social afflictions and collective resistance in Howl.” The “origins of both social afflictions” and “collective resistance” stems from America’s need to impose unrealistic expectations on young people. Ginsberg idealizes America’s youth by celebrating their imperfection. Ginsberg “blurs” his “central objects of identification” by finding a connection between the insanity that Carl Solomon and Naomi Ginsberg share. The “blighted hopes and wasted intellects” of America’s past and present generation are subject to
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