Jean Ginsberg Howl For Humanity Essay

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Howl for Humanity As music notes fly off the page, colors splatter, and rhythms dance to an un-choreographed number, the lines on the musical staff stand horizontally, straight and stare in horror. This was the 50’s. With two world wars just passed and the Cold War in effect, American culture became robotic and safe. Society promoted capitalism, stay-at-home mothers/wives, white picket fences and the seemingly perfect life. Along with the idea of the perfect American family came those who went against society’s ideals. The Beat Generation rose with artists like Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, and writers like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg who were not afraid to hop off the straight lines of the American musical staff. The artists of the…show more content…
The influential Ginsberg wrote, Howl, a poem that expressed Ginsberg’s frustration with his generation. The Beats “extolled individual freedom and attacked what they saw as the materialism, militarism, consumerism, and conformity of the 1950s” (American Novel, Par 2). For being oppressed of individuality, the Beats took it to their writing for true expression. They wore beards, some of them were homosexual or bisexual, and they rejected capitalism. At the time, beards were unheard of, as cleanly shaven men were considered proper. Any other sexuality but heterosexual would mean going outside the stereotype of the nuclear family. Along with the nuclear family came the idea that women belonged in the kitchen, wearing feminine fashions, cooking and cleaning, and rearing children. People bought into materialism because they wanted to fit the mold. Americans, as Ginsberg says in Howl, “broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven” (Howl, line 89). Americans worked hard day in and day out to make money only to spend it on material things like up to date fashion or the latest kitchen appliance or automobile. They worshipped their materialistic items and the industry that makes the rules, also known as Moloch. Today, the fashion has changed, but the curse is still the

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