Analysis of Supermarket in California

Topics: Allen Ginsberg, Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound Pages: 1 (617 words) Published: October 26, 2014

Karima Hilliard
Ms. Leith
English 111, Section 026
20 October 2012
Analysis of Supermarket in California
Allen Ginsberg portrays alienation as a lonely walk to the supermarket. In the poem “A Supermarket in California” he displays this idea through the images of people in the supermarket, his use of the word “penumbras” and the use of the word “enumerations”. Allen Ginsberg is alienated thus causes him to use his imagination for company. In the poem Ginsberg states that there was whole families shopping “Wives in the avocados” (3). This shows Ginsberg is desperate for company so he unknowingly lets his imagination take over. This also represents how Ginsberg sees society. The people he sees in the supermarket are his own projection of the way he views people in society. For example the wife in avocados represents how important material goods are to today’s society. Avocados are known for their cosmetic uses. Many women purchase goods used to make themselves look better. Ginsberg believes that people should only purchase goods that they need. For example he says that he sees “Aisles full of husbands!” (3) this represents how people are too concerned with material goods. In his mind an aisle of husbands represents the excessive purchase of goods. Ginsberg uses the word penumbra to portray alienation. A penumbra is the space between light and shadow in the poem he says “what penumbras” (3). Ginsberg uses the word penumbra to represent himself and a society. For example the light part of the penumbra would represent society and the dark part would represent Ginsberg being alienated. Ginsberg is considered the dark side of society because he allows himself to be alienated. He alienated himself from society by going against the norm. He believes that society should be changed and that the today’s society is not how it is supposed to be. The use of the word “enumerations” portrays alienation. Ginsberg says “dreaming of your enumerations” (2). In the poem...
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