Essays on the literature of the beat generation

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Essays on the literature of the beat generation

Download this Term Paper in word format. The road" has been a powerful metaphor for freedom from the constraints of ordinary lifeever since Jack Kerouac's On the Road became the Beatnik Bible in the 's.

Kerouac saw beauty in gas stations and freedom on the road. The metaphor caught the imagination of a generation. Many of the key phenomena of "the Sixties" developed in coherence with this metaphor Within the works of the small elite group of writers associated with the beat generation there are many messages about, life, the world and rejection of conformity.

There is little doubt that one of the most foundational aspects of the literature of the beat generation is its reliance on the role of illicit drugs as a theme and even a lifestyle to be both glamorized and acknowledged as a powerful avenue to freedom and knowledge.

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It is through the years of the production of many of the works associated with the beat generation that the use of drugs became an almost mainstream lifestyle choice. It is within these three works and others associated with the so-called "beat generation" that the ideals associated with free will and self-induced experimental psychoses are best demonstrated.


In fact is could be argued that there is more written about the use, role and significance of drugs in Essays on the literature of the beat generation three works than there is simply written about the works themselves.

Prior to a greater understanding of the real consequences of drug use, and in response to the conservative 's overdramatic warnings these young men demonstrated the creativity and "wisdom" of the free flow of thought through illicit drug use. Regardless of the argument that the drugs were simply a part of the image, their use had real effects and visible consequences upon the people who lived the lifestyle, be they writers or simply admiring stragglers.

In one work associated with an attempt to reconcile the main character in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas with the writer there is a legitimate and poignant connection between the why and the why of drug use during the age.

But at a more prosaic level, Thompson's meisterwerk has had hardly any direct or serious heirs on this side of the Atlantic. And that's because an absolutely essential component of the Thompson satiric armoury was the ingestion of large quantities of mind-distorting drugs.

However warped, twisted and cynical Thompson's perception of drugs and their effect, the fact remains that at the time he was writing, the consumption of illegal, mind-altering substances still had a social revolutionary cachet Drugs are yuppie now, mainstream. The political realities of their illegality remain the same, but they no longer possess much potential for torque, for a clarifying lens to be held up against the culture that refuses to tolerate them.

And are the illegal drugs essential to the gonzo methodology?

Essays on the literature of the beat generation

Will Self then goes on to describe why drugs were the chosen avenue of creativity in the time of the Beats and so much of what he has to say makes sense in the long and short-term of the subject at hand.

Well, you could remove them from Fear and Loathing altogether and still somehow conjure up an evocation of those same states of mind. But on the whole, given the available options, drugs do really seem to be the best one.

Large quantities of stimulants and hallucinogens produce quite delightfully awful states of paranoia. Chuck some high-proof spirit into this boiler of toxicity and you have a conflagration on your hands. Add some heart-pumping amyl nitrate into this mix and then you'll really be taking your medicine.

Of course what this allows you to achieve is the condition of a harassed, strung-out war reporter crouching in a shell crater, working for a wire agency that might not pay him, or even support his accreditation, while in fact you haven't even quit the bathroom of your soundproof suite.

The drugs both enhance and synergise with the feeling that many reporters get when they're exposed: The full gambit of the consequences of these choices can be found within the writing of the time, from the giddy realization of great brilliance to the more than dark demonstration of near suicidal loss of hope.

It is all there. Beat," declared Jack Kerouac, whose On the Road made the Beat Generation an American byword, "means beatific, it means you get the beat, it means Zen, apple pie, Eisenhower -- we dig it all.

We're in the vanguard of the new religion. Jack Kerouac may have coined the generation's name but it was not completely developed as an idea until these admiring writers expressed it through the delusions associated with the lifestyle of drug and alcohol use.

The free flow of ideas of the exploration of the dark side and the light side of drug use is present even today and difficult to disentangle from the messages of the works, as the drug use is so much the core of the messages of the works.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is such a product of its times that readers since have had trouble coming to terms with it. To a later generation scared straight by drug-awareness campaigns and trained to "just say no," the quantity and variety of drugs ingested by Hunter S.Maintained by Sherri, official Literary Kicks bibliographer The following is a general bibliography, listing works not specifically about any one Beat author.

Bibliographies of books and articles about Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Ken Kesey are also available. Further bibliographies will follow. ”The Birth of the Beat Generation” by Steven Watson Essay Sample.

Upon reviewing Steven Watson’s book ‘The Birth of the Beat Generation: Visionaries, Rebels, and Hipsters, — ’ it is necessary to admit that the author of the publication traces the origins of Beat movement and Beat culture with remarkable attention and consideration.

The Beat writer s incorporated various elements of jazz, religion, art, literature, and philosophy, into their works in order to create and prophesise a new vision for society.

They were one of the first literary groups to focus intently on the corruption of society and move to dethatch themselves from the restrictions of traditional prose.

The Beat Generation was one of the first groups of writers to break down the barriers of traditional literature and set a precedent for future writers with their writing style, their way of life, and by the messages they portrayed. The Howl of a Generation The Beat Movement in modern literature has become an important period in the history of literature and society in America.

The reasoning behind the writings of the Beat Generation was that literature should be written according to the author's true interests and philosophy rather than adherence to .

Buddhism and the Beats - Buddhism - Oxford Bibliographies