The Beat Generation and the Epoch of Hippies: A Comparative Analysis

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There are a number of similarities existent between the countercultural movements of the 1950's and that of the 1960's. The former was primarily known as the Beat Generation, while the latter became known as the epoch of Hippies. These movements were important because they represented one of the final times during the history of America (up to the present moment) that there actually was a nationwide countercultural movement. An examination of the similarities of these movements will inherently elucidate differences between them. One of the most eminent similarities regarding these two countercultural movements was the fact that they both utilized the efforts of young people, who were openly rebelling against mainstream society and the older establishment. Specifically, this rebellion came to include the mores of the parents of these children, and the social institutions these values helped to support. As such, mainstream culture in the form of the conventional notion of marrying fairly young, raising a family in accordance with domestic mores and notions of respectability, was something that both Beats and Hippies alike eschewed. The young people of both generations ultimately sought a new form of life, one that was not centered on ides that were so quintessentially American. The way in which members each respective generation sought this adherence to a new form of aesthetics and principles was also similar. Unconventional notions of sexuality and promiscuity were

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