Bob Dylan The Political Voice Of A Generation Essay

Bob Dylan The Political Voice Of A Generation Essay

Length: 1340 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Dylan hardly ever missed an opportunity to express his contempt for being labelled the ‘political voice of a generation’. However this did not prevent him from becoming one of the most influential figures in 1960’s counterculture.
1960’s America was characterised by political activism. Issues such as race, class and gender each came to the forefront of the public’s attention at various points throughout the decade. Acts of protest came to symbolise the generation’s desire for change, and no writer seemed to encompass the ideals of the counterculture movement better than young musician Bob Dylan.
This leads to my question which is “To what extent was Bob Dylan the ‘political voice of a generation’?” Closely evaluating his role as a social commentator in 1960 's America.
Dylan’s trend of writing socially conscious music was first made apparent in the early 60’s. The songs in his first albums were often directly linked to political issues being raised by protestors at the time. One of these political protest groups was the ‘Students for a Democratic Society’ (SDS), who released the famous Port Huron Statement of 1962. This manifesto for the New Left became a huge influence upon the growing counterculture movement of the 60’s. The statement expresses concern that America has been lulled into a dormant state. The introduction declares that,
Beneath the reassuring tones of the politicians, beneath the common opinion that America will "muddle through", beneath the stagnation of those who have closed their minds to the future, is the pervading feeling that there simply are no alternatives, that our times have witnessed the exhaustion not only of Utopias, but of any new departures as well.
It points out the complacency of the American p...


... middle of paper ...


...‘When the Ship Comes In’)
Bob Dylan’s performance at the March On Washington was one of the few instances where Dylan publicly showed his support for a politically driven cause. The march, where Martin Luther King delivered his renowned ‘I Have a Dream Speech’, was a mass protest designed to promote the need for jobs and equality for African Americans. It has been seen as an event which sparked both those who were being oppressed, along with people who were outraged by such injustice to take action.
However the way the public was responding to Dylan’s role in the 60’s civil rights movement soon led to his complete rejection of politically inspired music. Bob Dylan didn’t want to be defined or constrained by his label as a protest singer. As he told a Canadian journalist in (DATE), “I’m not politically inclined. My talent isn’t in that area; it’s just to play music.”

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

An Essay About Bob Dylan

- Robert Allen Zimmerman, more famously known as “Bob Dylan,” was born on May 24th, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota. Dylan is a famous American folksinger who infused folk music with rock and roll. His music career began in the early 1960s when he made his way to New York to join the folk scene, following in his idols’ footsteps, Woody Guthrie. Quickly, Dylan received a record deal and created a set of some of the most powerful protest songs to date. He has been an influential figure in popular culture and music over more than half a century; many refer to him as a “voice of a generation,” with songs that spoke for people during the Civil Rights Movement and anti-Vietnam war movement....   [tags: Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Folk music, Pete Seeger]

Strong Essays
1769 words (5.1 pages)

Essay Bob Dylan Revolutionary Songs

- Today, the 1960s represents a decade of liberation for the arts, public opinion, and the shackles of prejudice whether against color or gender. The decade's tumultuous forces and events that shaped the minds of so many, also fostered some of the greatest musical artists of all time—one in particular, Bob Dylan. Responding to the historical events of the time and addressing the same ennui and dissatisfaction with the conventional pursuit of the so-called “American Dream,” Bob Dylan created music that intended to inspire and evoke change both in the public and private spheres....   [tags: 80's music, folk music, baby boom]

Strong Essays
563 words (1.6 pages)

Bob Marley's Redemption Song Essay

- “Won't you help to sing, these songs of freedom 'cause all I ever have, redemption songs” (Bob Marley, 1980) Marley was born into Jamaica’s poverty and it is where he developed a strong love of reggae and became a Rastafari. Reggae, evolved from another musical style called Ska in the late 1960’s, is considered the voice of the ‘oppressed’ peoples. Many reggae lyrics are politicalised and centre on themes of freedom and fighting for it. (Cooper, 2014) Rastafari is a theology based upon the writings of Marcus Garvey a Jamaican social activist....   [tags: reggae legends, lyrics analysis]

Strong Essays
939 words (2.7 pages)

Bob Dylan Essay

- The early 1960s was a time of extreme social issues such as the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement; everyone was looking for their own voice in this time of adversity. A young Bob Dylan arises to the spotlight and sings songs speaking of protest and originality, expressing societal dissatisfaction felt by not only himself but by his entire generation. In the 1960s Dylan wrote many protest songs that people of his generation found themselves connecting to, leading way to a counterculture aside from popular music which also paved a way for introspective song writing....   [tags: protest, American youth, music, politics, songs]

Strong Essays
1150 words (3.3 pages)

Bob Dylan’s 'The Times They Are A-Changin' Essay examples

- ... The short concise verses and the way they build up is what really makes the song timeless. “If your time to you is worth savin’, Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone, For the times they are a-changin’”(Dylan). Its clear that Bob Dylan had a message that he felt was important to get across to the masses. His goal was for more than a few people to like the song but for the whole country at the time to open their eyes and become an instrument for the change that he said was coming....   [tags: historical analysis]

Strong Essays
695 words (2 pages)

Essay on Bob Dylan: The Voice of a Generation

- The Voice Of A Generation As one gradually makes their way through the exclusive pantheon of Rock & Roll, they will cross paths with such deities as Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry, be exposed to the unparalleled mastery of Jimi Hendrix and absorb the raw emotion of Janis Joplin and Curt Cobain. Eventually, at one point or another, they also must discover Dylan. The 1960s was a fiery decade for the United States, not only due to the fact that this country was engaged in a bloody stalemate in the jungles of Southeast Asia, but because we were gradually transforming into a new, better America back home....   [tags: Music]

Strong Essays
977 words (2.8 pages)

The Generation Divide And The Generations Essay

- The Generation Divide The “Generation Divide” (Biro, 2013) is a challenging problem for the leadership in today’s culture. The gaps between these generations are a concern organizations are confronted with. Today’s workforce includes four generations spanning more than 60 years in age (Cogin, 2012). Strategies aimed at attracting, retaining, and engaging employees of all ages are strategic concerns that employers are focusing on (Cogin, 2012). This paper will address the strengths of the four generations of American workers that exist in today’s workplace, similarities and differences, and how to resolve collaboration efforts between them (Mayden, 2014)....   [tags: Generation Y, Generation X, Cultural generations]

Strong Essays
1709 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on The Church of Bob

- There’s no way to define Bob Dylan. His persona has changed with such frequency that his personal life has become shrouded in mystery. One thing can be certain; his music inspired revolutions and it provoked a sea change in the hearts and minds of a generation. Musicians, college students, politicians, civil rights leaders, varying shades of skin, and collars of blue and white were all bound together by the music of Bob Dylan. The Beatles may have brought sophisticated chords into pop music but it was Dylan who brought poetry into the mainstream....   [tags: Bob Dylan, Musician]

Strong Essays
739 words (2.1 pages)

Analysis Of Bill Collins And Bob Dylan Essays

- Poetry is a distinct form of literature that is widely known for its ability to skillfully use words to paint an image in the minds of readers. Poetry often has great depth encouraging readers to look beyond the lines to reveal a hidden message. This style of writing is intended to convey an intense emotional response using repetition, rhythm, sound, and structure sometimes producing a music like quality. Lyrics similarly use repetition, rhythm, sound, and structure but are intended to be sung and heard through music....   [tags: Poetry, Maya Angelou, Bob Dylan]

Strong Essays
1137 words (3.2 pages)

The Voice Of Generation X Essay example

- 'We have been labeled apathetic, lazy, and selfish just to name a few,'; says Josie Mazzaferro in her essay entitled, 'Turned Off by Politics.'; We have been judged in every aspect of society, especially in the political arena. Is there any way for us to clear up these misconceptions given to us by other generations. It seems that the voice of Generation X is silent when it comes to political issues these days. When we talk about politics we often wonder what relevance it has on our lives. Many of us feel that politicians are no longer trustworthy....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
594 words (1.7 pages)