Dr. Anshen English 2304 American Literature|
Lisa M. Alvarado|
How Allen Ginsberg challenges America
Allen Ginsberg’s America is full of conversational monologues; he uses several literary and poetic devices to challenge several aspects of the American Society. His tone plays a main role in getting his perspective across to the audience. This poem is filled with cultural and political references as well as references to incidents and events in his own life and in the lives of his friends. Ginsberg challenges America based on the America it has the potential of becoming with a little hard work. He begins his work with such utter arrogance and cockiness and concludes with several aspects filled with concern and aspects on how to make a change. His cockiness is expressed with the word choice he uses. “Go fuck yourself with your atomic bomb. (5)” He clearly wants the war to end because he grows depressed with all the bloodshed and death around, and he is partly dissatisfied with the militarism of the country. He wants to stop the conversation before it even starts, by making excuses that he doesn't want to be bothered with such a conversation and proclaiming that he won't write until "I'm in my right mind" (7). But as he specified before, he will not ever be in his right mind. He cannot stand his mind. “America when will you be angelic?(8)”
There is repetition all over the entire poem; he glues all the lines together by starting some lines with a common word “America, America…... When, when…., I, I….” He also uses apostrophe, he directly addresses something non-human, and he speaks to “America” as if it were a person.
“America” free Tom Mooney
“America” save the Spanish loyalists
America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die
America I am the Scottsboro boys
This is all usage of allusion, in those lines he is referring to a person, event or place in history. He talks about how hypocritical and controversial...