The Sixties Exposed in Takin' it to the Streets and The Dharma Bums Essay

The Sixties Exposed in Takin' it to the Streets and The Dharma Bums Essay

Length: 1181 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Sixties Exposed in Takin' it to the Streets and The Dharma Bums

 
   One cannot undertake any study of the 1960s in America without hearing about the struggles for social change. From civil rights to freedom of speech, civil disobedience and nonviolent protest became a central part of the sixties culture, albeit representative of only a small portion of the population. As Mario Savio, a Free Speech Movement (FSM) leader, wrote in an essay in 1964: "The most exciting things going on in America today are movements to change America" ("Takin' it to the Streets," 115). His essay is critical of those that maintain the status quo and oppose change in America. It seems quite obvious that change has occurred as a result of the efforts of this highly vocal minority and few would argue that these changes were not good and just, yet historical perspective allows us to also consider the "flaws" and contradictions of this sixties subculture.

 

It is rather ironic that a group so dedicated to fighting for societal change could also be part of a resistance to change in other aspects of the same society or could be a part of maintaining the status quo. Savio also stated: "The most crucial problems facing the United States today are the problem of automation and the problem of racial injustice" (113). A group seeking to change America, Savio and the minority he represented seem to be both advocating and resisting change. While fighting for changes in attitudes toward and the treatment of racial minorities, the group also opposed automation. It seems obvious that automation has been a highly instrumental force in changing American society and to oppose automation would seemingly be a definite resistance to change. While opinions...


... middle of paper ...


...n 1968, Reagan condemned student militants, saying: "There has been general incitement against properly constituted law enforcement authorities and general trampling of the will, the rights and freedom of movement of the majority by the organized, militant, and highly vocal minority" ("Takin it to the Streets," 346). It seems rather obvious today that "the great and thoughtful majority of citizens" to which Reagan referred in the same address are not always correct in their beliefs and that the laws that have been created by this majority, as well as the enforcement of such laws are not always just.

 

Works Cited

Biner, Pierre. The Living Theater. Takin' It To The Streets: A Sixties Reader, pp. 288-293. ed. Alexander Bloom and Wini Breines.

New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Kerouac, Jack. The Dharma Bums. New York: Pengiun Books, 1958.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Rebels of Dharma Bums, Takin' it to the Streets and New American Poetry

- Rebels of Dharma Bums, Takin' it to the Streets and New American Poetry       You don't need a destination to run away. All you have to know is what you are leaving behind. In the 1960's, young men and women in the United States, especially on the west coast, made a mad dash away from almost two centuries of American tradition. They ran to so many different places that it would be impossible to generalize about their aims and philosophies. What they had in common was the running itself.   America was drowning in materialism....   [tags: Dharma Bums Essays]

Strong Essays
1675 words (4.8 pages)

Materialism in The Dharma Bums and Goodbye, Columbus Essay

- Materialism in The Dharma Bums and Goodbye, Columbus   Several works we have read thus far have criticized the prosperity of American suburbia. Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums, Philip Roth's Goodbye, Columbus, and an excerpt from Lawrence Ferlinghetti's poem "A Coney Island of the Mind" all pass judgement on the denizens of the middle-class and the materialism in which they surround themselves. However, each work does not make the same analysis, as the stories are told from different viewpoints....   [tags: Dharma Bums Essays]

Free Essays
1377 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on The Dharma Bums Aesthetic Response

- The Dharma Bums Aesthetic Response   After the opening chapter of the novel in which the narrator writes, "Just in my swim shorts, barefooted, wild-haired, in the red fire dark, singing, swigging wine, spitting, jumping, running- that's the way to live" (7), I knew that the book was not only going to be interesting, but also great. I was not displeased after finishing it either. The Dharma Bums struck me as being one of the most fantastic books that I have ever read; one that contains an amazingly simple and captivating plot, an introduction and insight into the Buddhist philosophy and its followers of the 50's, and also contains the most provocative insight and philosophy about humanity...   [tags: Dharma Bums Essays]

Strong Essays
1386 words (4 pages)

Importance of Mountains in Kerouac's Dharma Bums and Barthelme's The Glass Mountain

- Importance of Mountains in Kerouac's Dharma Bums and Barthelme's The Glass Mountain     Mountains are significant in the writing of Jack Kerouac and Donald Barthelme as symbolic representations of achievement and the isolation of an individual from the masses of the working class in industrialized capitalist American society. The mountains, depicted by Kerouac and Barthelme, rise above the American landscape as majestic entities whose peaks are touched by few enduring and brave souls....   [tags: Dharma Bums Essays]

Strong Essays
2048 words (5.9 pages)

Nature and Society in The Dharma Bums and Goodbye, Columbus Essay example

- Nature and Society in The Dharma Bums and Goodbye, Columbus       From its beginning, the literature of the 1960s valued man having a close relationship with nature. Jack Kerouac shows us the ideal form of this relationship in the story of Han Shan, the Chinese poet. At first, these concerns appear to have little relevance to Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth. However, by mentioning Gauguin, Roth gives us a view of man's ideal relationship to nature very similar to the one seen in the story of Han Shan....   [tags: Dharma Bums Essays]

Free Essays
988 words (2.8 pages)

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and Takin' it to the Streets as Drug-influenced Literature

- The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and Takin' it to the Streets as Drug-influenced Literature Art influenced by drugs faces a unique challenge from the mainstream: prove its legitimacy despite its "tainted" origins. The established judges of culture tend to look down upon drug-related art and artists, as though it is the drug and not the artist that is doing the creating. This conflict, less intense but still with us today, has its foundations in the 1960s. As the Beatnik, Hippie, and psychedelic movements grew increasing amounts of national attention, the influence of drugs on culture could no longer be ignored by the mainstream....   [tags: Takin Electric]

Strong Essays
1998 words (5.7 pages)

Comparing Society in The Dharma Bums and The New American Poetry Essay

- Mass Society in The Dharma Bums and The New American Poetry       One of the best ways to fully understand an era is to study its literature. The printed word has the incredible capacity to both reflect and shape the hopes, fears, and ideologies of the time. This is very evident when reading literature from 1960's America, a turbulent period in the history of our country. While the authors' styles are very different, there are definite thematic patterns and characteristics evident in many of their works....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Strong Essays
1284 words (3.7 pages)

Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums Essay

- Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums does not fall too far from a basic description of his life. Kerouac spent the bulk of his writing career riding trains from city to city, meeting people and writing books and poetry. He was among the premier writers of the Beat Generation, a group of primarily urban poets and writers who put the basics of life and their spiritual nuances into poetry with a beat. The book, The Dharma Bums, is a window into the daily structure of the Beat Generation....   [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]

Strong Essays
804 words (2.3 pages)

The Code Of The Streets Essay example

- Social institutions are defined as established or standardized patterns of rule-governed behavior. They include the family, education, religion, and economic and political institutions. In The Code of the Streets, Elijah Anderson plays on the fact that a persons environment can play a big part in a persons behavior. According to Anderson “ simply living in such an environment places young people at risk of falling victim to aggressive behavior.” For example, one of the social institutions mentioned by Anderson in economic standards....   [tags: Sociology, Institution, The Streets, Humans]

Strong Essays
783 words (2.2 pages)

Bums Essay

- Bums are cool dfsjhfajks hthalksjhaf jkshf sldjfhajeklrh tja hsjdfhajrhl jhsdfjashjhwreuisdhjcsbdr awejfhsadhr wsfhfajrej fsudyfjweb hcvszlhjwerhf jsnf Viewing an erupting volcano is a memorable experience; one that has inspired fear, superstition, worship, curiosity, and fascination throughout the history of mankind. The active Hawaiian volcanoes have received special attention worldwide because of their frequent spectacular eruptions, which can be viewed and studied with a relative ease and safety....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1348 words (3.9 pages)