I’ve recently studied at the university this socio-literary movement, that has changed me a lot. And I think it changed the whole American society during 1950-1960.
You are probably asking yourself what kind of movement was it,isn’t it? Well, I will try to explain as clear as I can, to show you its beauty and its importance.
As a short introduction, The Beat Generation is a socio-literary movement that appeared in America during its ’50s. The three most important personalities of this generation were Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs.
After World War II, some societies were under a system of rules that had to be respected. So was American society. Although it was under democracy, there were things that were considered to be taboos, like the liberty of human condition, of religion, sexual liberty and the liberty of experimenting. The Beat Generation contributed to the denying of these taboos
Well, those three great personalities of this generation wanted to reject the values that had been established after the war, they wanted to reject the materialism, they were interested in the discovery of the soul, exploration of religions and human conditions, experimenting drugs and sexual liberty. These things are well described in the three prominent work of these authors: „On the Road”, „Naked Lunch” and „Howl” (I will also talk about them in other posts).
I spent days and nights investigating and searching in google for more information about this generation. I did it because I had to write an academic essay on the theme, but I also did it because the authors captivated me. They captivated me through their way of thinking and living, through their visions upon life and human condition. They helped me understand that things that they had tried to deny, to repeal, to destroy then, are still valid today.
Even if World War II ended years ago, people are still following the rules of those times. Democracy? Of course democracy! Liberty? Nothing! People keep their thoughts beside them. Few of us have the courage to accept and use their „democratic” liberty. The majority of us ACCEPTED the materialism installed after the war. Less and less realize that THEY matter, not the society. THEY have to be the center of their universes, not the society. They have to learn how to live their life as they want to, they do not have to work for the society till their last breath.
No! I’m not saying that we need no money and no job. All of us need it. But we have to mark a limit. We do not have to forget ourselves somewhere there, far away, behind the scene. We do not have to hide and be ashamed of our desires, opinions and ideas. We have to learn how to put OURSELVES on the first place, because exactly this attitude generates a strong character. Exactly this attitude outlines our personalities. This attitude will help us enjoy our lives as we want to. We don’t want to be old and regret that we had no life, do we?
No, I do not suggest you to resign your job and to go buy drugs. I suggest you to contribute to destroy the laws, or, better said, to destroy the expired mentality. I suggest you to try to live your life as YOU want to live it. Without listening to the opinions of other people, without rejecting the things that make you happy. Try to do things for you, not for others. You have a life. Do not give it to others. Fight for your personality. Fight for your ideas. Do not let yourself influenced. Do not refuse your pleasures. Buy yourself a beer or a cupcake after work, even if you have little money. Do not let it in the wallet because you have to get to work somehow tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come. But if it though comes… IMPROVISE! You’ll manage somehow.
Do not forget about yourself in behalf of others.