Social Pressures Reflected in Ginsberg's Howl Essay

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Social Pressures Reflected in Ginsberg's Howl

Post World War II America produced a number of images that will be forever imprinted on the minds of Americans. Such images as television shows like "Leave It To Beaver" and "I Love Lucy," movies such as "An Affair To Remember," and "Brigadoon," are watched frequently even in today's society. But in this world of fairytale movies and the "American Dream," what about those who didn't fit into the picture of perfection and prosperity? These men became the basis of an underground network of dissident writers, teachers, artists and filmmakers. Often a reaction against the strict standards of normalcy held by the American public and the bureaucracy of the government, their work not only
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Such is the same in "Howl."

Ginsberg does not spare the 'innocent' reader. When one analyzes the social power of Ginsberg's statements, one can come easily to the conclusion that society was not exactly welcoming to Ginsberg, and he reacted to that through his writing, especially in "Howl."

The second portion of "Howl" is commonly considered by critics to be the most complicated for the average mind to comprehend. In this section, nearly every thing is described as a 'Moloch.' Moloch, in mythology was a God to whom children were sacrificed. Now, the term is commonly used to describe anything responsible for destroying innocence. In Part II, Ginsberg describes nearly everything about American culture to be a Moloch. Even society's viewpoints are Molochs. In a way, Ginsberg is calling America itself a Moloch, and then continuing to describe parts of the whole.

"Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!" (Ginsberg 21)

America is evil to Ginsberg because of the feelings of hatred and repulsion the society builds in him.

The third section of "Howl" is a striking contrast to the other two parts.
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