William S. Burroughs was one the main three writers of the Beat Generation, along with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. He came from an aristocratic St. Louis family and attended the best prep schools. He was expelled from one after experimenting with chloral hydrate. Throughout his youth he struggled with acceptance of his homosexuality. He graduated from with honors from Harvard University in 1936, but hated the school and town so he moved to New York. He began to explore the Harlem Renaissance and the art movements in Greenwich Village. He first began to experiment with heroin in 1944 and became an addict. He got married to Joan Vollmer and they had one child. In 1948, the family moved to New Orleans, but had to move to Mexico after Burroughs was arrested for conspiracy to traffic narcotics. In 1951, Burroughs accidentally shot and killed his wife while performing a William Tell trick. The tragedy was a life altering occurrence that sent Burroughs into journey though South America looking for the drug yage. After his travels in South America ended, Burroughs moved to Tangier, Morocco where he began to work on the novel Naked Lunch.
Burroughs's wrote Naked Lunch heavily under the influence of drugs. His drug of choice was heroin or a substitute opiate of some kind, but he also used cocaine, a hallucinogenic herb known as yage, and many other random drugs. The title of the book as suggested by Jack Kerouac who said it meant "A frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork." The title makes perfect sense in this regard, for Naked Lunch is a brutally honest introspective look at modern society. The novel serves many purposes; as a poignant satire on all the hypocrisies of modern society and as an unforgiving firsthand account of the joys and pains of drug addiction. It eerily predicted the AIDS epidemic, the crack epidemics and how plastic surgery would become very prominent. It was banned in many countries, including parts of... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2006, 10). Naked Luch. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 2006, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Naked-Luch-95976.html
"Naked Luch" StudyMode.com. 10 2006. 10 2006 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Naked-Luch-95976.html>.
"Naked Luch." StudyMode.com. 10, 2006. Accessed 10, 2006. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Naked-Luch-95976.html.