The Beat Generation Explored And Influenced American Culture Through The Authors Literature

948 WordsOct 29, 20154 Pages
The Beat Generation explored and influenced American culture through the authors literature. Walt Whitman “Resist much, Obey little” is quoted from Walt Whitman 's Leaves of Grass. Whitman believed highly in his philosophy of life and humanity. This quote contrasts Allen Ginsberg’s poem “A Supermarket in California” which portrays American conformity within a capitalistic society. Ginsberg uses imagery to portray America’s capitalism commodity fetishism resulting in a loss of individualism. Ginsberg writes “for I walked down the side streets under the trees, with a headache self cautious looking at the full moon. In my hungry fatigue and shopping for images, I went into the Neon fruit supermarket” (Ginsberg, 674) Ginsberg leaves the idea that the media has influenced his ideas of rather then shopping for food he is shopping for the ideas of food. This idea of food which is a being labeled as a collection of ideas associated with a capitalistic lifestyle. Where people are seen as a object to control. This idea that people are buying products that have a deeper meaning of conforming to system that values economics over peoples well being. The supermarket becomes a symbol of America’s consumerism which makes Ginsberg feel trapped. The neon lights are in contrast to the dark skies Ginsberg is self cautiously looking into. The bright lights give an idea of hope and happiness in the lit up supermarket. Allen Ginsberg also used the imagery of stacks of cans referencing
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