The Beat Generation Essay

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The "Beat Movement" in modern literature has become an important period in the history of literature and society in America. Incorporating influences such as jazz, art, literature, philosophy and religion, the beat writers created a new vision of modern life and changed the way a generation of people seen the world. The generation is now aging and its representative voices are becoming lost, but the message is alive and well. The Beats have forever changed the nature of American literature. They offered a method of escape from the unimaginative world we live in. There are many different writers who's work contributed to the literature of the beat movement; however; Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs and Allen Ginsburg were the most…show more content…
This rebellious mindset, coupled with a lack of identity and high tensions, formed a unique set of conditions that molded the beat generation. The word beat was coined my Jack Kerouac in 1948 but didn't become a well known expression until 1952 when John Clellon Holmes wrote an article in the New York Times about it. Holmes wrote This is the Beat Generation in response to an article previously in published in the New York Times titled Youth which stereotyped the younger generation. In the article Holmes defined the term beat as "more that mere weariness, it implies the feeling of having been used, of being raw. It involves a sort of nakedness of mind, and, ultimately, of soul; a feeling of being reduced to the bedrock of consciousness. In short, it means being undramatically pushed up against the wall of oneself. A man is beat whenever he goes broke and wagers the sum of his resources on a single number; and the young generation has done that continually from early youth" (Holmes). Holmes claims that the generation was brought to this mindset because the generation was being "brought up during the collective bad circumstances of a dreary depression, weaned during the collective uprooting of a global war... This is a post war generation, and, is already being compared to other post war generations, which dubbed itself `lost' (Holmes). Jack Kerouac was born Jean-Louis

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