What aspects of American society do these authors rebel against? Why? What are they trying to achieve? Does this impact their identity as Americans?
3 page paper on Dutchman by Amiri Baraka, A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac. Here are the prompts for the project:
- What aspects of American society do these authors rebel against? Why? What are they trying to achieve? Does this impact their identity as Americans?
- Bob Dylan commented in Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Review documentary that Kerouac wrote about the “road of life.” How has this changed from On the Road to The Dharma Bums. Are the central concerns the same or have they changed? And why?
- Ferlinghetti was insistent he was not a “beat” despite playing a key role in the movement as a book publisher. Create an argument why or why not we should consider him one.
- So far most of the works we’ve read were produced by white male authors such as Kerouac. While there are depictions of women in his novels, we rarely see a glimpse into their interior lives or motivations. What does Diane di Prima’s voice add to the conversation?
- The Civil Rights Movement began in 1954. Amiri Baraka’s The Dutchman premiered ten years later. You might consider the following: How does the play alter your perspective on the movement? What are the main points of the play and what does it say about the issue of race in America? How is it similar or different to other works by African American authors you’ve read before?
- Amiri Baraka was involved in the Beat movement but eventually changed his aesthetic approach and content becoming a founder of the Black Arts Movement. In what ways do you see similarities or differences with the Beats in his approach and content?
- Diane di Prima’s work is highly political in nature. Revolutionary Letters was published in the 1960s more than 10 years after Howl. You might consider the following. How have political concerns evolved? What does di Prima add to the conversation? How has this counterculture changed?
- Since we now have a larger body of work to discuss, consider the materials throughout the course of the semester. Ginsberg suggested the Beat movement could be defined as “spiritual lib.” However this suggests there is an overall defining objective or sensibility. Do you believe there is a defining attribute and if so, what is it? Why or why not? What implications does that have on your own reading and understanding?
Requirements: 3 to 4 pages | .doc file
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