Beat Generation

(4174 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

The Beat Generation was a small group of loyal, intricately connected writers and the name given by those writers to describe certain counter-cultural characteristics of American post-war youth during the 1940s and 50s. The Beats wrote about their personal lives and attempts to engage in heightened experiences through an intensely frenetic and exploratory bohemian lifestyle. Much of what defines the Beats and their writing can be seen as a defiant reaction against the largely conformist attitudes of the post-war decades. The beginnings of the Beat generation can be traced back to the mid-1940s, to a closely knit group of young intellectuals centered around the Manhattan campus of Columbia University; this then evolved into a popular …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Donahue, Tim. "Beat Generation". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 April 2009
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=113, accessed 20 December 2014.]


Related Groups

  1. The Beats