American Culture In The Dharma Bums By Jack Kerouac

1957 Words8 Pages

It was the year 1955; consumerism was taking off, rock and roll was gaining popularity and for the first time Disneyland opened its doors in California. California in 1955 was recovering from the effects of the Great Depression and WWII. The war had opened up new economic opportunities and created a population boom for the state. During WWII, a huge influx of people migrated to the state to take advantage of the economic opportunities that the war economy provided. The 1950s was also the year the Beat Generation gained popularity. The Beat Generation, according to Wikipedia, was a group of authors whose literature explored and influenced American culture in the post-World War II era. Wikipedia also states, central elements of the Beat culture were rejection of standard narrative values, the spiritual quest, exploration of American and Eastern religions, rejection of materialism, explicit portrayals of the human condition, experimentation with psychedelic drugs, and sexual liberation and exploration. …show more content…

Jack Kerouac wrote the 1958 novel The Dharma Bums. In The Dharma Bums, Ray Smith, aka Kerouac, explores the relationship that mountain climbing, hiking, and hitchhiking had with his city life. Buddhism is also a recurring topic throughout the book; Ray Smith is constantly trying to connect his experiences with it. The Dharma Bums encompasses the portraits of the Beat Generation. The main themes associated with this book are non-conformity, simplicity, compassion, sexual conflict, improvisation and pragmatism. All these themes can be associated with the ideals of the Beat Generation. The Beat Generation rejected the conventional social norms and favored modern jazz and Zen Buddhism. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac relates to California through its themes of non-conformity and provides an insight to the experiences of the Beat

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