The Beat Generation: A Cultural Revolution Essay

The Beat Generation: A Cultural Revolution Essay

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The Beat Generation: A Cultural Revolution
In the 1950's, society's prudish view on art was drastically altered. If not for this era, art (literature, music, and fashion) would not be as exceptional as it is today. Prior to the beat generation, the conformists of America censored everything; freedom of expression was unheard of. The Beat Generation, blooming in the 1950's, inspired a group of people whose unparalleled creativity shaped the worlds definition of art today. It sparked an interest in people and encouraged uniqueness and the idea of being open to new experiences. The Beat Generation stimulated the minds of Americans, inspiring people to think beyond the nation's conformity. This cultural phenomena pushed people to their limits and outside their comfort zones to create literary and musical masterpieces that would later change the world by expanding the boundaries of free speech.
Firstly, the poets of the Beat Generation were the geniuses behind the success of the movement. Beat poetry began in the 1940's in New York, later blossoming in San Francisco during the 1950's. Post World War II left poets questioning modern politics and culture; they made the battle against social conformity and literary tradition their central focus (“Brief Guide to Beat Poets”). The three most prominent Beat writers were William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac. Burroughs wrote his highly controversial book Naked Lunch while on vacation in Morocco; it was published in 1959, but later banned in 1965 due to its vulgarity. Years later Naked Lunch was included in Time Magazine's "100 Best English Language Novels." In 1957 U.S. customs seized over 500 copies of Ginsberg's novel Howl on grounds of obscenity. These c...


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