Transcendentalism In California Essay

Words: 450
Pages: 2

Allen Ginsberg’s poem “A Supermarket in California” represents very typical beat themes and ideas. The poem touches on ideas from Romanticism, Transcendentalism, as well as the strong sense of rejecting 1950’s stereotypes. The poem speaks to Romanticism in that it has this sense of awe and wonderment. Ginsberg describes going through a supermarket with one of his inspirations, Walt Whitman. Ginsberg describes watching Whitman as he goes through the supermarket, looking at the various products and the various boys that work there. Ginsberg forms this sense of awe as he stands in Whitman’s presence in the poem. For instance, he states in the poem, “I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.” This sense of passion and intense respect Ginsberg holds for Whitman adds to the themes that …show more content…
Ginsberg also uses this poem to reject consumerism and stereotypical 1950’s ways of life. Ginsberg points out the sort of absurdity he sees in families shopping together, as if it is a family activity when he writes “whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!” It is the sense of false togetherness that Ginsberg sees everyday that he tries to point out and satirize, a common element of beat writing. Ginsberg also makes another point of the culture of consumerism when he writes that he and Whitman will “stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways.” It is in this sense that Ginsberg is able to show his rejection of the stereotypical consumerism culture and materialistic culture that he saw everyday in the America he lived in. This rejection of these stereotypes, combined with the elements from ideas of Romanticism and Transcendentalism, show this poem to be a typical piece of beat