The Hippie Movement and the Beat Movemnt

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How the Hippies got hip with the beat of the Beat Movement Jack Kerouac once said, “the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars” (Kerouac 5). Kerouac was the symbol of the Beat Movement. He was the rebellious and adventurous man, who during his time was considered an outcast, but soon later made way for the counterculture of the Hippie Generation. The beats were all about going against social conformity and usual political views (Bennett 340), which mirrored the belief system of the hippies one decade later. This is one of the many reasons why the Beat Movement was the actual beginning of the Hippie Generation and drug epidemic that occurred soon after. The Beat Movement was the main influence on the Hippie Generation and drug epidemic. The Beat Movement consisted of a group of American writers and artists popular in the 1950s and early 1960s, influenced by Eastern philosophy and religion. William T. Lawlor called the Beat Movement “an artistic movement noted for experimentation and a bohemian lifestyle” (Lawlor 70). These individuals involved in the movement believed in spontaneity and utilized this characteristic to go against the average culture of the 1950s and for personal self-expression through literature and art. Many found their inspiration of spontaneity in the urban environments that surrounded them. Robert Bennett stated that Daniel Belgrad, author of The Culture of Spontaneity: Improvisation and the Arts in Postwar America, “argues that the beats were part of a much larger cultural movement that used spontaneous art to challenge the ideology of corporate liberalism” (Bennett 340).
Many of the people associated with the Beat Movement help to create the distinct characteristics of this movement. Jack



Cited: Bennett, Robert. "Spontaneity, The Beat Generation and the Culture of." Beat Culture Icons, Lifestyles, and Impacts. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2005. 340-44. Print. Chepesiuk, Ron. "Hippies." The Sixties in America. Ed. Carl Singleton. Vol. 2. Dasadena: Salem, 1999. 351-52. Print. Hamilton, Neil A. "Hippies." The 1960s Counterculture in America. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1997. 148-50. Print. “hippie.” Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia. 2005. eLibrary. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. Kerouac, Jack. On the Road. New York: Viking, 1997. 5. Print. Lawlor, William T. "Beat Generation." The Sixties in America. Ed. Carl Singleton. Vol. 1. Dasadena: Salem, 1999. 70-73. Print. Layman, Richard, ed. "The Beat Movement." American Decades 1950-1959. Detroit: Gale Research, 1994. 34-36. Print.

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