In Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” (1955), Moloch is used as a metaphor for capitalism and industrial civilization, and for America more specifically. The word is repeated many times throughout Part II of the poem, and begins (as an exclamation of “Moloch!”) in all but the first and last five stanzas of the section.

I just recently, (in the scale of my life,) stumbled over an explicit reference to Moloch. I was all like, “Moloch? Who the what is that? *bookmark*”

I finally got around to reading the WikiPedia article and realized that there’s a huge amount of Moloch wriggled into and behind a ton of the classic fiction which I love.