The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg Research Paper by writingsensation

The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg
A look at the controversial poet, Allen Ginsberg.
# 75095 | 4,849 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2006 | US
Published on Nov 28, 2006 in Literature (American) , Literature (Poetry) , Literature (General)

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This paper takes a look at the life of Allen Ginsberg, one of America's most controversial poets of the mid to late 20th century. Ginsberg was made famous by his radical poem "Howl" and his views on American society, politics and the Vietnam War. This paper also takes a look at New Historicism, and Ginsberg's involvement.

From the Paper:

"Thus, most of the work of Allen Ginsberg can be seen as culturally significant, for it explores through verse and narrative the inner workings of the cities and how the people that worked and died in these cities during the late 1940's and 1950's experienced everyday life. In essence, Ginsberg's poetry and narrative pieces are filled with "cultural poetics," also known as New Historicism, "a theory that emphasizes the importance of history as a standard of cultural value or as a determinant of events" (Schumacher, 56).
Before commencing on the biography of Allen Ginsberg, it seems appropriate to make some brief comments on the status of America during the 1950's, the period which highly influenced Ginsberg and his writings. Following the close of World War II in 1945, America was plunged into a "Cold War" with the Soviet Union, a war based on threat instead of action. Culturally, America was in the throes of massive change, due to the victories over Nazi Germany and Japan and the economic boom that followed in the wake of World War II. For the most part, Americans were experiencing new and at times disturbing cultural trends linked to politics, economics and the rapid development of technology, especially regarding television. Also, as a result of World War II, Americans had a sense of belonging to the greater whole and began to see themselves as conformists, meaning that they never questioned authority and subscribed to "herd mentality."

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