Beat Generation and Hippie Movement

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Beat Generation and Hippie Movement Summary

Beat Generation refers to a group of American post World War II writers, that became prominence in the 1960´s. They saw runaway capitalism as destructive to the human spirit and opposed to social equality. In addition to their disappointment with consumer culture, they were against the repressive generation of their parents. By the time, the taboos against frank discussions of sexuality were seen as unhealthy and damaging to the mind. According to Literature and Art the Beats stood in opposition to the clean and almost antiseptic formalism (as they used to name it) of the early twentieth century modernists. They fashioned a literature that was more bold, courageous, straightforward and expressive than anything had come before. Underground music styles like Jazz were especially evocative for Beat writers. The word “Beat” was primarily used after World War II by Jazz musicians and workers, as a slang term meaning “Down and out” or “Poor and exhausted” . But Jack Kerouac twisted the meaning of the term, explaining that “Beat” means “Beatitude” not beat up, Beat generation writers also used the term in connection with music, Kerouac often said; “You feel this, you feel it in a beat, in jazz real cool jazz”. Other central elements of Beat culture included, experimentation with drugs, alternative forms of sexuality, an interest in Eastern Religion and the rejection to materialism. The Beat Generation was a Literature and Cultural movement and the best known writers were; Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, these authors are considered the producers of the best work of the time.

Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) was an American poet that opposed Militarism, Materialism and Sexual repression. Ginsberg is best known for his epic poem “Howl” where he severely denounced what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States. Howl is one of the classic poems of this period and was...
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