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Subversion of “madness” in allen ginsberg’s poetry
Published in IUP Publications
Volume: 15
Issue: 1
Pages: 7 - 18
The Beat generation as a countercultural movement sought a clear demarcation from the mainstream society and the American ideology of the 1950s. They were a distinctive group of people who took delight in their socially ostracized position and did not care about being labeled as “Mad.” Madness or mental insanity and its consequences were for them a powerful means of resisting social pressures and restrictions. It also helped develop among the Beat writers a spirit of fellowship based on their desire to break away from the normative style of American literature. Often resulting in exclusion from the mainstream society, madness paradoxically served as a sign of belonging for the Beat generation. Deliberately seeking segregation from the mainstream, the Beat counterculture “took delight in inferior social and economic positions” (Rogoveanu 2009, 247). According to Reynolds (2016, 83), “The word ‘counterculture’ in and of itself connotes a sense of belonging, even if that sense of belonging exists solely because of one’s desire to abandon a previous affiliation.” Rather than trying to assimilate into the mainstream American society forcibly and thereby losing their individuality, the Beats preferred to remain as the “Other.” Echoing this viewpoint, Mettler (2015, 174) states. © 2020 IUP. All Rights Reserved.
About the journal
JournalIUP Journal of English Studies
PublisherIUP Publications