Fads of the 1960s: literary points of authority

How did cultural expressions reflect the society of the USA in the 1960s? How is it compared lớn today?


The literature reflected what was happening in America on the social & political arena in the sixties. Authors wrote about gender, race, homosexuality, feminism & war, and they criticized society, just like the youth generation did.

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An example of the 1960’s literature is the famous novel by Ken Kesey: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” from 1962. The action takes place in a mental hospital & the book describes how the system is tearing down a patient who isn’t really sichồng, he had just pretended khổng lồ be crazy to avoid jail. The book is meant as criticism to lớn the methods used within psychiatry in the 50s và 60s.

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From the Film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

The Beat movementAs within music và fashion, the youth generation of the 1960s was also open-minded towards controversial literature. During the 1950s a small group of cthua trận friends got known as Beat Poets. They wrote with a non-conformal, wild và improvisational style about topics lượt thích drug use, sexuality, aberrant behaviour và rejecting of authorities, & the Beat Poets were an important part of the 60’s counter culture.

The Beat Poets got inspired by Eastern religion, jazz và wandering life. The core members of the Beat Generation were Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac & William S Burrough, who wrote the most famous beat works: “Howl” (Ginsberg, 1956), “On the Road” (Kerouac, 1957) và “Naked Lunch” (Burrough, 1959).

Beat poetry is oral & repetitive sầu, mainly because it developed out of poetry readings in underground clubs. The poetry is a cry of pain and anger at what the poets see as the loss of America’s innocence và the tragic waste of its human và material resources.

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Allen Ginsberg

The beginning of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl:

I saw the best minds of mygeneration destroyed bymadness, starving hystericalnaked,dragging themselves through thenegro streets at dawnlooking for an angry fix,angelheaded hipsters burningfor the ancient heavenlyconnection to the starrydynamo in themachinery of night…

Several of the beat novels & poems got attention due khổng lồ obscenity trials. The trials also helped khổng lồ liberalize what could be written in America.

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The Beat Generation 

During the late 50s và early 60s the meaning of the terms Beat Generation và Beatniks expanded to lớn consider a time period and a movement that in many ways was the predecessor to the hippie movement.

Today’s literatureSome of the ideas, values and attitudes that shocked the parent generation in the sixties, are what we base our society on today. To (most of) us it is obvious that women, as well as men can work, blaông xã and white should be equal, sex is accepted before marriage & also accepted to talk or write about. Many people are protesting against the Iraq war today, though I think that we in a way are as much, if not more, materialistic than the parent generation in the 60s was.

It is much harder to shochồng society by writing something new and special now than before, what was controversial baông xã in the 60s is normal to us now.The USA became a mass media country in the sixties when radio, TV and film became common, and the evolution has just continued. Due to lớn the internet the world is much “smaller” than before & we get inspiration from other parts of world và also from earlier time eras.

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It is not possible lớn categorize the literature of today as one special type of literature. We have sầu all kinds of genres, for example Crime fiction, Fantasy, Romance novels, Historical novels, Psychological novels, different kinds of poems, essays và also texts that are a phối of two genres or more. Also the authors are all kinds of people, men & women, blachồng và trắng and from different social classes. Some writers criticizes society, some entertain us, while others have something important lớn tell. These varieties in literature reflect the varieties in today’s society & the open-mindedness that we have today, which began in the 60s.


Chuyên mục: literature