Beat Generation Essay

923 words - 4 pages

The Beats were a criticism of American complacency and an expression of new forms of literature that has constantly influenced our society and living. The Beat generation started from a group of American writers who emerged in the 1950s. Among many Beat Generation writers, most influential members were Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs and Gary Snyder. All the writers have contributed to the literature society in their own different and unique way. Here in this essay, I will explore on unique characteristics or contributions that each writer has made on our literature society.
Norman Mailer was a predominant writer in 1950s. He is mostly known as the writer ...view middle of the document...

This is a line from his poem “Kaddish”: “Dreaming back thru life, Your time – and mine accelerating toward Apocalypse, the final moment – the flower burning in the day – and what comes after, looking back on the mind itself that saw an American city a flash away, and the great dream of Me or China, or you and a phantom Russia, or a crumpled bed never existed.” Readers of this poem will not understand most of what he wrote. His vagueness on his writing led him to start freely expressing on homosexuality and obscenity which no writers ever attempted to openly write before. This triggers other writers to write what they truly want to write about without being oppressed or worried for their publicity.
Jack Kerouac is another Beat Generation writer who was one of the most influential writers in Beat Generation. His novel “On the road” became so famous that it even became a movie. Kerouac seeks different ways to express himself, and he found music, particularly by using jazz, as a new way of showing his emotion and feeling to people. In fact, the word “Beat” was primarily in use by jazz musicians and hustlers as a term meaning poor and exhausted. Kerouac used the word “Beat” to serve his own purposes, explaining it meant beatitude. He was linked in the public’s mind to the jazz world. In his novel “On the road”, he celebrated and invoked the music of Jazz musicians. His use of Jazz in his novel has contributed the Beat Generation to express their feeling in music.
Burroughs has contributed on literature society by changing the structure of fiction. He used a technique called “Cut-ups”. In his cut-up technique, you take a page and cut down the middle, then you rearrange the...

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