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Beat Generation

The Beat Generation has drawn parallels to other movements such as the French Impressionists, because, similar to that movement, the Beat writers, a small clique of friends, became responsible for a movement which formed from the themes, issues, techniques and portrayals in their works. The central ideology or theme connecting the Beat writers was their complete rejection of middle-class values and lifestyle. The main concerns they expressed through their works targeted at these values and lifestyle are now concerns championed by most rational contemporary citizens: pacifism, respect for nature over technological development, and expansion of individual consciousness. The roots of the Beat writers are founded in transcendentalism, Thoreau, and Whitman. The most successful and well-known Beat writers were Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg. However, other writers like Henry Miller and Tom Wolfe were significant in adding to the general vocabulary, themes, and concerns of the Beat generation, basically a rebellious movement that laid the foundation for the anti-establishment Hippie culture of the 1960s. Inherent in the lives of these writers was a heavy reliance on drugs, alcohol and sex with one or bother genders. Despite these aspects of their personalities, the Beat writers were generally composed of intelligent young adults who refused to accept the social norms of their era. Mainly children of the depression and World War II adolescents, these writers rejected middle-class society in every aspect. This analysis will discuss the works and themes of many of the Beat writers, showing how their attitudes and themes changed as they matured.

Jack Kerouac is considered the main founder of the Beat movement, and he is often credited for extolling Beat values in On The Road. In the work he chronicles the adventures of his friends as they freely travel across America, taking odd jobs, drinking and doing drugs...

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Beat Generation. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:54, May 28, 2020, from