‘A Super Market in California’ a literary work by Ginsberg provides a provide converse over which a lot of issues can be painted. The poem provides the reader with insights as to what the author has to say about different issues in the spheres of life. A critical analysis of the poem reveals a number of issues that would ordinarily form the subject of debate with respect to how people perceive some occurrences. In writing the poem, a number of literary skills have been used to give it a conventional look. The devices that form the basis of analysis in this text include symbolism, literary allusions and use of long lines and the meaning behind their use.
In the poem, ‘A Supermarket in California’, the use of supermarket is in itself a symbol. A number of issues can be drawn with respect to the symbolic nature of the supermarket. A supermarket is a place largely associated with people flocking in to buy some of the essentials. In the same breath, a supermarket stock some goods that are much needed by people as basic components. Consequently, a supermarket represents the idea of economic wellbeing as it involves an exchange of finances for goods offered. However, the use of supermarket should be understood in the context to which the author writes. When the author says, “I went into the neon fruit supermarket” (Ginsberg, Line 4), the basic understanding is that a supermarket represents a place where people are able to get some commodities they so need.
The writer of the poem seems to be in a conversation with somebody called Whiteman. In reality, by the time the author constructs this publication Whiteman is late. But the basis of her conversation should be understood based on what Whiteman stood for. In his early works, Whiteman talked of a society divorcing itself from the issues of nature too, and then getting transformed with the industrial manifestations. The writer seems to be confirming the fears of Whiteman by constantly referring to him in the poem with respect to the meaning behind his ideas at the time of writing. A critical study of the poem suggests that the society in which the author is in has been transformed by industrialization to the extent that people have forgotten about the well-being of nature. In this context, it should be understood that there has already been a transformation from the time of Whiteman to the time the author puts pen to paper. Consequently, the transformations that are being experienced are not artificial, as the author would want the reader to believe. The reality of the matter is that the transformations in the industrial world have ensured the changes so experienced.
The use of long lines in any literary work always has different meanings. In this context, the author uses long lines to paint a picture of the situation as it is. The essence of this is to make the people understand the point that is being driven home with respect the topic of discussion. For instance, the writer says, “What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!” (Ginsberg, Lines 6-8). This line is to bring about the effectiveness of the arguments fronted in the text. When short lines are used sometimes, there are gaps that are left with respect to bringing an understanding to the reader. The essence of long lines in the poem is making the reader understand the motivation behind the writer’s arguments.
The poem ‘a supermarket in California’ is a converse over which several issues can be painted. In understanding the issues in the poem, the author uses different literary devices to simplify the arguments behind the text. The argument in the poem basically surrounds the essence of the changing times and what such transformations have done to people’s lives and the society as a whole. In understanding the issues, the author has used symbolism, literary allegory and long lines help the readers understand the meaning behind the literary works.
Ginsberg, Allen. Howl, and Other Poems. San Francisco: City Lights Pocket Bookshop, 1973.