The Beat Movement

Good Essays
The Beat Movement

Following the conclusion of World War II, a collective of artists and authors began questioning the American Dream. In time, the ideas of this collective confronted mainstream society and ultimately led to a cultural shift, known as the Beat movement. Just as the postwar economic boom of the mid-1950s nourished American idealism, a new generation began to question the dominant materialism of American society. Although the Beat generation began on paper, through the artistry of poets addressing the issues of capitalism, sexual identity, and the human condition, the bohemian ideals trended throughout America and consequently had a[ permanent impact on American culture.]

Several nonconformist American writers of the 1950s gave birth to the Beat Generation through their experimental writing, lifestyle, religious practises, and philosophies. Writers such as John Clellon Holmes, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Philip Whalen, Gary Snyder, and Gregory Corso advocators all critical to the movement. But “[a]t the core of the Beat culture were still-notable poets and literary figures like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, both of whom helped to build one of the first centers of Beat culture, in North Beach San Francisco” (Issitt 2). Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, and Allen Ginsberg’s collection of poems called Howl, in addition to Williams S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch, were immensely influential. In 1952 John Holmes birthed the term “Beat Generation” through an essay on the
Get Access