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“America” by Allen Ginsberg Essay

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The interpreter needs to examine important clues to understand the intended message of the author. The author mentioned two key terms. The first one is the year 1956. The second term given was Trotskyites. Thus, it can be argued that Ginsberg was describing the economic and social state of American in the decade after the Korean War.

The reader can empathize with his plight. However, the best way to react to this poem is to remind the reader about the speech that President Kennedy made in 1963. Kennedy’s speech admonished people who shared Ginsberg’s view and reminded them that the government did not exist to serve the American public.

The Lamentation of Ginsberg

Historians unearthed evidence that showed the problems of the U.S. economy in the decade of the 1950s (Brenner 54). It was an unexpected outcome after the frenzied economic growth brought about by the rapid industrialization of the United States. Many were caught by surprise after consistent economic growth beginning in the decade of the 1940s (Brenner 54).

The economic stagnation could have been the reason for Ginsberg’s lament. Nevertheless, historians were quick to add that the said economic slowdown was temporary. The United States was an economic powerhouse because of the industries that were created during and after the Second World War.

American companies were also successful in creating a network of business partnerships all over the world (Brenner, 55). It is understandable if people will empathize with Ginsberg’s plight. On the other hand, people should question why he was unable to earn a living when he was a citizen of the most powerful country in the world.

Ginsberg’s primary complain was not the lack of economic opportunities. His main tirade against the government was about the issue of communism. Ginsberg had a point because the United States was supposed to be a land of the free. The U.S. Constitution makes it illegal to impose a man’s personal views over another human being. On the other hand, Ginsberg should also understand why the United States government was paranoid in its approach to counter the effect of communism in America.

Ginsberg must realize that communism did not take root in the United States because the government made every effort to oppose its development. Ginsberg must also understand that the core message of communism was to destroy the status quo (Lewy 139). Ginsberg should look into the revolution that swept Russia, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia. In these four countries, communism destroyed people’s way of life.

Kennedy’s Admonition

The late President John F. Kennedy must have been thinking about complainers like Ginsberg when he wrote his speech that rallied the people to support the government. Ginsberg had every right to complain. In fact, he should be commended for voicing out his opinion. The freedom to express one’s opinion is the reason why America is one of the greatest countries in the world. On the other hand, Ginsberg’s complaints must be transformed into a form of constructive criticism.

Ginsberg’s tirade against the government must not end as a pointed diatribe, without offering a solution to the problem. Kennedy inspired millions of American citizens to look into their lives and find out what they can do to help their fellow citizens. Kennedy’s assertion was justified. His speech inspired many people to embrace difficult tasks. For example, the speech that he made inspired people from NASA to develop a successful program that sent Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins to the moon.

Conclusion

Ginsberg was acting within his rights when he complained about the lack of economic opportunities in his life. However, if one will take a closer look at the economic situation in the United States during that particular time period, Ginsberg will come across as a whiner. A whiner is someone who can only see the negative aspects of life. The United States is one of the most powerful and richest nations on Earth. Therefore, its citizens have more opportunities than the rest of the human population.

In other words, his pointed diatribe against the U.S. government was not justified. On the other hand, Ginsberg was correct when he voiced out his opinion regarding the paranoid attempts of the government to oppose the development of communism in the country. Nevertheless, Ginsberg should also understand why the government was adamant in eradicating the influence of communism in the country. Nations that allowed communism to take root suffered from anarchy.

Bloody revolutions in China, Russia, Cambodia, and Vietnam were the direct result of communist uprisings. More importantly, Ginsberg failed to offer solutions. He should listen to the advice of former President Kennedy. He should look at the problem and offer himself as part of the solution.

Works Cited

Brenner, Robert. The Economics of Global Turbulence. UK: Verso Publishing, 2006. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2020. ""America" by Allen Ginsberg." May 5, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/america-by-allen-ginsberg/.

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