Qualities of the post-World War II Beat culture include obscene and defiant behaviors in addition to an environment paved with drugs and poverty. One of the stories that best portrays the central elements of the Beat culture is the story of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty in On the Road by Jack Kerouac. In fact, Jack Kerouac is the writer who was the first to coin the term “Beat Generation.” In the story, Sal Paradise meets a highly experimental and charismatic man dubbed Dean Moriarty. The story follows them as they travel from corner to corner of the country searching for meaning, all while facing adversities such as confusion, depression, drugs, alcohol, and overall abandonment. Since these qualities are a
In the poem Howl, Allen Ginsberg challenges the modernity of American culture, which enforces the “best minds” (1) to give up their freedom to conform to the desired sense of normality. Ginsberg states “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked/ dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix” (9). His expression of Moloch The angry fix is what all of these “best minds” look for after being stripped of their freedom to conform to the new American culture after World War II.
The turbulent societal changes of the mid-20th Century have been documented in countless forms of literature, film and art. On the Road by Jack Kerouac was written and published at the outset of the counter-culture movement of the 1950s and 1960s. This novel provides a first-hand account of the beginnings of the Beat movement and acts as a harbinger for the major societal changes that would occur in the United States throughout the next two decades. On the contrary, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a Hunter S. Thompson novel written in 1971 provides a commentary on American society at the end of the counter-culture movement. Thompson reflects on the whirlwind of political and social activism he experienced and how American society had
Carl Solomon starts his poem off by talking about how even the best people have been destroyed by our society. “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness…” (Solomon page 1500) The young man that was killed went to a large University. He was very smart, and was definitely capable of making an impact on the world like he made an impact on his hometown. I do believe that at some point the student that committed this tragedy had a great mind that was destroyed by the madness of our society. Maybe Solomon wrote Howl thinking that it was only in his generation that the even the best people were being torn apart, or maybe he
“The weight of the world/is love./under the burden of solitude,/under the burden of dissatisfaction,/the weight,/the weight we carry/is love” (Ginsberg pg.50) . A simple, yet powerful quote from Allen Ginsberg, about how one can feel so lonely, even though he is full of love. Allen Ginsberg became well known in the 20th century for his unique yet powerful poems, “Ginsberg's raw power, spiritual depth, and technical innovation were driving forces in the shift that saw American poetry in the 1950s move away from a New Critical emphasis on formal, metrical, witty, ironic, and allusive verse toward verse that was at once more personal and more political” (Iadonisi p.1). Among his amazing works is a poem entitled “Howl.” With 112 lines, thought provoking themes, obscene words, and heavy drug influences, Howl is a poem about life through the eyes of Allen Ginsberg and his best friends also known as the beat poets. In “Howl” Ginsberg portrays a world of freedom , in a society of madness, to encourage others to be themselves, and not to
Among those writers was S.E. Hinton, who’s realistic fiction novel, “The Outsiders,” seized the truth of the 1950’s. Demonstrating my effects drove the plot as the protagonist, Ponyboy Curtis, grappled the harsh reality of being apart from both society and his own gang (shmoop.com). Hinton strived to prove how greasers of the time suffered the agony of my existence. Cold, punitive, and desperate were the lives they lived, as outsiders exiled from society. Despite the odds and my attendance in the novel’s theme, the characters conquered the situation and weren’t weakened by pain, but used it to grow and learn. Most victims fall to weakness in bleak moments, but the survivors and fighters utilize the experience to their advantage, to grow stronger. Defeat is common while I am present, but a route of escape from the dark can be discovered by real people with the aid that literature
Allen Ginsberg’s revolutionary poem, Howl, is a powerful portrayal of life degraded. It represents the harsh life of the beat generation and chronicles the struggles of the repressed. Howl is a poem of destruction. Destruction of mind, body, and soul through the oppression of the individual. Using powerful diction, Allen Ginsberg describes this abolition of life and its implications through our human understanding of abstractions like Time, Eternity, and self. The poem’s jumbled phrasing and drastic emotion seems to correspond with the minds of the people it describes. Ginsberg uses surprisingly precise and purposeful writing to weave the complex
“Beasts under the Big Top” by Sena Christian and “When Animals Mourn” by Barbara J. King both relate to the idea of animal behavior and the different ways it can be affected. Christian explains the effects on behavior caused by an animals surroundings and treatment by humans. In contrast, King specifically focuses on the impact death has on an animals behavior, whether it be a passing in the community or of a close family member. Although both authors write about changes in animal mannerisms, they each take distinct approaches on discussing the topic.
In the 1940s the Beat Generation sprung up and took the nation by storm. Many people in their later teenage years started to become “rebels” to what society thinks. This rebellious lifestyle sparked various different views; those that look up to them, and those that look down upon them. Jack Kerouac plays a major role in this time period pertaining to this lifestyle, authoring many works about it, one being On the Road. He uses the characters in this story to depict the diverse views on the Beatniks. This strong interpretation used throughout the novel sets the stage for many other authors writing on behalf of the Beat Generation. The characters he uses in this
Jack Kerouac was one of a group of young men who, immediately after the Second World War, protested against what they saw as the blandness, conformity and lack of cultural purpose of middle-class life in America. The priorities of people of their age, in the mainstream of society, were to get married, to move the suburbs, to have children and to accumulate wealth and possessions. Jack Kerouac and his friends consciously rejected this pursuit of stability and instead looked elsewhere for personal fulfillment. They were the Beats, the pioneers of a counterculture that came to be known as the Beat Generation. The Beats saw mainstream life as a prison. They wanted freedom, the freedom to pick up and go at a moments notice. This search for
” Williams’ theory therefore suggests that the terms must necessarily co-exist in order to define each other. The “pervasiveness of consent ” therefore characterises the fifties, against which these Beat texts can be contrasted. Theodore Roszak’s 1969 article ‘The Making of a Counterculture,’ helps define beat ideology as “heightened self-expression and often a rejection of political and authoritative institutions… a negative spirit of the times coupled with a specific lifestyle .” Both On the Road and Howl and their author’s lifestyles of their writers reflect this criterion, in idiomatic and contextual terms, lending to the notion that they are, by the overall nature of their existence, countercultural texts. Roszak’s adolescent counterculture often seems the embodiment of Dean and Sal’s ‘beatitude’ in On the Road “when they pulse to music…value what is raunchy… flare against authority, seek new experience, ” but it is similarly descriptive of the naked, sometime vulgar language Ginsberg employs in Howl “who bit detectives in the neck… let themselves be fucked in the ass.” (13) The Beats admire the vibrancy naturally present among youth, and although this is a style for which their writing has been criticised, it is a move away from the traditionally
There first time having sex or there first time trying out drugs. Although the drug aspect is a little extreme it does happen in our society and I believe that this book not only shows us how to speak up against the “man” but also how to basically survive. Im not that older than Jim Carroll in the “Basketball Diaries” and to see someone go through something like that and turn out to be a writer is incredible. It shows the readers that we shouldn't stay idly by while we lose ourselves. We should speak up, voice our opinions, be impulsive in trying to get what we want. And one thing this book has taught me is that we have to keep this idea of “counterculture” alive. Like Jim, I too find myself sinking into a hole that I cannot come out of. But instead of drugs my downfall is credit cards. Im only 19 with 3 credit cards and I owe over 3,000 dollars. My mom and dad help me pay it down but I just get so addicted into using it. If I don't have to use my own money, then why not? But I too find myself wanting to be pure again. And it gives me some shred of hope to see that Jim Carroll overcame his downfall and now its time for
Century apart, Allen Ginsberg and Walt Whitman share similar cultural, political and moral values, which they express in their literary work. Whitman’s writing is considered controversial for the eighteen hundreds. He sets the stage for generations to come breaking way from the strict Victorian poetic tradition by writing in free verse. Ginsberg follows his footsteps when composing his poem “Howl” by writing in long lines almost resembling prose and subdividing the poem into several parts. Likewise, he uses numerous repetitions to achieve rhythmicity of his verse. Ginsberg’s poem is heavily influenced by Whitman’s philosophy. The works “Song of myself” and “Howl” are similar in ideas, structure and underling themes. The two authors protest against old traditions imposed on the individual by corrupt society, stand against conformity and put emphasis on the need for change. They identify with their generation and dwell on themes such as sexuality, religion and the state of American society.
Jack Kerouac is the first to explore the world of the wandering hoboes in his novel, On the Road. He created a world that shows the lives and motivations of this culture he himself named the 'Beats.' Kerouac saw the beats as people who rebel against everything accepted to gain freedom and expression. Although he has been highly criticized for his lack of writing skills, he made a novel that is both realistic and enjoyable to read. He has a complete disregard for developed of plot or characters, yet his descriptions are incredible. Kerouac?s novel On the Road defined the post World War II generation known as the 'beats.'