The Howl Of A Generation

The "Beat Movement" in modern literature has become an important period in the history of literature and society in America. Incorporating influences such as jazz, art, literature, philosophy, and religion, the Beat writers created a new and prophetic vision of modern life and changed the way an entire generation of people see the world. That generation is now aging and its representative voices are becoming lost to eternity, but the message is alive and well. The Beats have forever altered the nature of American consciousness.
The impact of the Beats would certainly not have been as universal or influential if not for the writing of one poem; "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg:
I saw the best ...

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serves well as an account of the birth of the Beat Generation. Ginsberg’s life leading up to the writing of "Howl," the actual creation of the poem, its legendary first reading, and the aftermath of its public debut all figure prominently into the history of the literary movement. One can understand the impact of the poem on the Beat Generation by studying not only the chronology of its past, but its intricate and unique structure as well as its themes and ultimate message. Following is an examination of the poem as the great expression of Beat defiance, beginning with a short history of the poem.
Ginsberg’s Beat career began at Columbia University in 1943 where he met Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Neal Cassidy and others. This group of writers would remain life-long friends of Ginsberg and influence him in myriad ways. The history of "Howl," however, begins in 1953 after Ginsberg’s move to San Francisco in search of poetic inspiration. Having moved away from the ...

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working and live with Peter and write poems." To which the doctor replied, "why don’t you?" (Schumacher 147).
Ginsberg felt he had received a blessing. He arranged his own layoff at the market-research firm where he had been working by replacing himself with a computer, ensuring himself unemployment benefits for six months. He and Orlovsky moved into an apartment together and Ginsberg began writing. In July of 1955, Ginsberg wrote a line in his journal, "I saw the best mind angel-headed hipster damned," thinking of his friend Carl Solomon. A week or so later, Ginsberg sat down in his apartment to release some poetic energy into his typewriter. I sat idly at my desk by the first floor ...

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The Howl Of A Generation. (2004, September 20). Retrieved March 18, 2018, from
"The Howl Of A Generation.", 20 Sep. 2004. Web. 18 Mar. 2018. <>
"The Howl Of A Generation." September 20, 2004. Accessed March 18, 2018.
"The Howl Of A Generation." September 20, 2004. Accessed March 18, 2018.
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Added: 9/20/2004 10:27:58 PM
Category: English
Type: Free Paper
Words: 2498
Pages: 10

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