We Are Exposed American Culture And Society

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In Allen Ginsberg’s poem, Howl, we are exposed American culture and society in the 1940s-50s through the narrator’s eyes. According to the narrator, the society looks down upon those who don’t conform to its rules and culture. This materialistic and militaristic culture had destroyed and drove them with “madness” and starved with “hysterical naked” looking for “an angry fix”. Just like the title suggest, this poem is a loud cry for the generation oppressed by the conformed American society that didn’t value artistic creativity. He openly describes and discusses his experiences in drug uses and involvement in various of unusual incidents and how they could be associated with the search of spiritual/ religious madness. Right away, we get a religious sense from this poem through the words like “angel headed hipsters”, “heavenly connection” and “Mohammedan angels”. Ginsberg uses different religious/spiritual imagery and implication to portray the oppression his generation face. He calls for change in the current political and social system of his time. The poem begins with Ginsberg stating that he “saw the best minds of his generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the Negro street at dawn looking for an angry fix, angel headed hipster burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night” (Ginsberg Line 1.) These “best minds” have been ostracized by society for their opposition to conform to
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