The Beat Generation Subculture

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The Beat Generation Subculture Every generation has its middle class, majority, and norm, which are decided by that era's standards of behavior and thought. Similarly, each generation has a group that rejects these standards and rebels against the norm. In the 1950's a group of American writers that exemplified this behavior formed. They were called the beat generation. The beat generation was particularly remarkable because although it was began by an exceptionally small group of people, its cultural influence was enormous. The beats rebelled against things like conformity and consumerism in the post World War II society. Their writing challenged both traditional American values and contemporary writing styles. Incorporating influences such as jazz, art, literature, philosophy and religion, the beat writers created a new vision of modern life and changed the way a generation of people sees the world. However, the beat generation was soon transformed from a youthful rebellion into an elaborate money making tool. The beat generation was a movement that started a cultural revolution in the United States. Despite their small size, a group of early beat writers were able to shape an entire movement. The original group consisted of writers like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, William S. Burroughs, Gary Snyder, and Charles Bukowski. Most of the group's members met and formed around New York City's Greenwich Village and later came to reside in San Francisco where they gained fame. "The phrase 'Beat Generation' was invented by Jack Kerouac in 1948. The phrase was introduced to the general public in 1952 when Kerouac's friend John Clkellon Holmes wrote the article, 'This is the Beat Generation,' for t... ... middle of paper ... ...ion was one of the many to directly challenge American values. The Beats have forever altered the nature of American consciousness. The Beat Generation of writers offered the world a new attitude. They offered a method of escape from the unimaginative world we live in, through the exploration of one's intellect. Bibliography: Bibliography Allen, Donald & Tallman, Warren The Poetics of the New American Poetry. New York: Grove Press, 1973 Gontarski, S. E. Dionysus in Publishing: Barney Rosset, Grove Press, and the Making of a Countercanon. The Review of Contemporary Literature (Fall 1990): 7-19 Asher, Levi "The Beat Generation," http://www.litkicks.com/BeatPages Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia "Beat Generation," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2001 http://encarta.msn.com © 1997-2001 Microsoft Corporation
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