analysis of a passage from Howl


“who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan, and picked themselves up out of basements hung-over with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemployment offices,

who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the East River to open to a room full of steam-heat and opium,

who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion,

who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of Bowery,

who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and bad music,

who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in their lofts,

who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded by orange crates of theology,

who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish,

who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht & tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable kingdom,

who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for an egg,”

The essay focuses on this passage but you still have to read all the poem to connect the ideas. here is a link to the poem:


  1. Write a short summary of the passage above (1-2 sentences).
    • this is just to get the summary out of your system and to be able to focus on an analysis
  2. THESIS: In 1 sentence, explain what you are trying to prove in your paper. (must be arguable claim.)
  3. Analyze the passage you have chosen (2 or more paragraphs).
    • What does is show you as a reader?
    • Can you Apply theoretical lenses (the attachment below) to the passage? What does that reveal about the passage?
    • What is your interpretation of the passage?
    • remember to avoid summerizing the passage
    • remember to avoid making overgeneralizations based on the text.
    • Apply at least one literary theory

    a) have a clear topic sentence that tells you what the point of the paragraph isb) include an example in the form of a quotation introduced and integrated the quotation wellc) contain an analysis which explains their point presented in the topic sentence?