Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
Number of Pages
Throughout his poetry, Allen Ginsberg is in continual dialogue with Walt Whitman. This thesis focuses on prominent differences in the evolving American character which made these two kindred spirits nevertheless different from each other. In Whitman's time the United States was concerned with the expansion of, and pushing back of, borders of all kinds. To Whitman, America was a collection of states less concerned with dominating the world than with welcoming it in, in every possible respect. By contrast, Ginsberg's America had gained a position of unimaginable world power. Yet to maintain that power, Cold War America had to close itself off from many people, ideas, and possibilities that might threaten its newfound prominence. Through his dialogue with Whitman, Allen Ginsberg chides America for such narrow-minded thinking and reintroduces Cold War America to what it used to be.
American; Beard; Allen Ginsberg; Point; Quest; Resurrect; Tonight; Way; Whitman; Walt Whitman
American literature; Literature, Modern
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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Altman, James, "Which way does your beard point tonight? Ginsberg's quest to resurrect Whitman's America" (2008). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 2336.