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The Beat Generation Essay

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The period leading up to the 1950s was considered as the Era of Conformity. At this time the majority of Americans were living in suburban areas called Levittowns, felt threatened by Communism, they were driven with conspicuous soncumption. Men would go to work all dressing up in a grey or blue flannel suit while women were domesticated for they stayed home to cook, clean, and tend the children. For Americans at that time eating a family dinner and watching TV every night was considered a conservative tradition. However this all soon changed during post World War Two. Tired of the boring, traditional day-to-day life style that they lived at the time, most Americans felt “beaten” down in a sense. Starting in 1984, the period after the second World War should be, as stated by Jack Kerouac and John Clellon Holmes, known as the Beat Generation. Those who were a part of the Beat Generation did not believe in straight jobs and they lived in dirty apartments selling drugs and committing crimes. Some of the Beat Generation beliefs include the rejection of mainstream American values, exploring alternate forms of sexuality such as homosexuality as well as experimenting with drugs like cocaine and LSD. The Beat Generation was meant to echo the Lost Generation in the 1920s but it made a larger impact than its historical counterpart. This generation was created because people were tired of doing the same exact thing every day, it got repetitive. These “rebels”, as some would call them, wanted to step of the normal day-to-day life that was expected of from every American. They wanted to created their own ways of living, exploring into lifestyles that were most time looked down upon, revolutionists if you would, changing the beliefs and life st...


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...ow and then to just keep their sanity.



Works Cited

1. Hemmer, Kurt. Encyclopedia of Beat Literature. New York: Facts On File, 2007. Print.
2. Knight, Brenda. Women of the Beat Generation: The Writers, Artists, and Muses at the Heart of a Revolution. Berkeley, CA: Conari, 1996. Print.
3. P. J. Johnston. "Dharma Bums: The Beat Generation and the Making of Countercultural Pilgrimage." Buddhist-Christian Studies 33.1 (2013): 165-179. Project MUSE. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. .
4. Ries, Charles P. "Baby Beat Generation & The 2Nd San Francisco Renaissance." Hiram Poetry Review 67 (2006): 48-51. Literary Reference Center. Web. 3 Dec. 2013.
5. Tales of Beatnik Glory by Ed Sanders; Naked Angels: The Lives and Literature of the Beat Generation by John Tytell
Review by: Barry Wallenstein
Contemporary Literature , Vol. 18, No. 4 (Autumn, 1977), pp. 542-551





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