Resisting The Machines Of Society Essay

878 words - 4 pages

Resistance is a power that everyone holds within them. People have the ability to resist or give in to anything brought upon them. Resistance is the refusal to accept something that one feels does not match their needs, or beliefs. People often resist movements through actions, or argumentation. In, Allen Ginsberg’s, “Howl,” the theme of resistance is present in many different aspects. He shocked many people across the nation when the poem was published due to its vulgar words, and unorthodox ideas. Allen, throughout his poem, resists the powerful and social forces that aid in regulating and controlling the “proper” functions of society. The force is resisted by the speaker as he takes us on a vigorous journey, the “who,” “what,” and the “where” aspects of his life.
Ginsberg believed in the best minds of society; he believed they had the power to control the functions of society. The government and every other political force, in the poem, makes it known that lawyers, doctors and middle class citizens are examples of what the best minds of society ought to be. However, these are not the best minds that Ginsberg was referring to. He referred to the best minds as people “who wandered around and around at midnight in the railroad yard wondering where to go” (Ginsberg 11) The best minds were the drug users, drop outs, bums, and even poets. These people were the ones that just strolled through what a “regular” society was like, “passing through universities,” (Ginsberg 9) but never being offered a challenge. Allen resists the typical best mind in his generation by never giving up on himself and proving to people that there is a way to succeed, even if you are different. He struggled and was destroyed by madness himself, proving to people that there is the power to over come and resist the forces brought upon one. There was no need to be “trembling before the machinery of other skeletons” (Ginsberg 13).
Ginsberg resists the machinery, which is the “what,” that is ruining the best minds of society. Although Ginsberg is born in a place where the machine is worshiped by his society, he withholds dependency on it; he matures through such personal resistance to Moloch, allowing him to survive the destruction of his own kind; the free spirited. It is “Moloch whose mind is pure in machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose finders are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!” (Ginsberg 21) The war, government, capitalism and culture are all things combined to form the machine in “Howl,” the machine is...

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