How Did Ginsberg Use Modernism In The Early 20th Century

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E. Formal Analysis Essay #2 Modernism & Imagism in the Early 20th Century In the early 20th century until about 1960, there were two really important movements in literature and the arts. The first was introduced in the mid-19th century and was called “Modernism”. The second was introduced around 1910 and it was called “Imagism”. Both of these movements were very apparent in literature at the time. For the purpose of this essay, we will only focus on poetry by T.S. Eliot and Allen Ginsberg, although these movements were in many other works. Before discussing how Eliot and Ginsberg used modernism and imagism in their poetry, it is imperative that the terms of modernism and imagism are defined. Modernism was the “various movements in art, architecture, literature, etc., generally characterized by a deliberate break with classical and traditional forms of methods of expression” (“Modernism”). In other words, the writers at the time were trying to break away from the stiff, stuffy way of writing and create a new, more modern form. Modernism was apparent in numerous…show more content…
An example of imagism would come from “A Supermarket in California”; Ginsberg writes, “”What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families/ shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the/ avocados, babies in the tomatoes! “(6-8). His use of imagery is amazing here. The reader can almost imagine a family in a grocery store in produce shopping for the avocados and tomatoes. Another great use of imagery comes from the lines, “I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber,/ poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery/ boys” (10-12). Besides Ginsberg suggesting Whitman was a homosexual, and using sexual innuendo to do so, there is a clear image here. This time the reader can visualize a creepy, older gentleman near the meat department checking out stock boys, which sounds a little disturbing. His use of imagery is

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