Presentation on theme: "A Post Modern text by one of the leading Beat Generation authors… 1935-2001."— Presentation transcript:
A Post Modern text by one of the leading Beat Generation authors… 1935-2001
Post Modernist : reaction to the Modernist movement, a literary and artistic trend that defied the expectations cultivated over centuries of writing and artistry. Beat Generation : group of American novels and poets who came to prominence in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Jack Kerouac introduced the phrase Beat Generation sometime around 1948 to describe his friends and as a general term describing the underground, anti-conformist youth gathering then in New York. The Beat Generation has also been called the Counter Culture. Stream of consciousness : a literary technique which describes an individual's point of view by giving the written equivalent of the character's thought processes. Stream-of- consciousness writing is strongly associated with Modernism. Stream-of-consciousness writing is usually regarded as a special form of interior monologue and is characterized by leaps in syntax and punctuation that can make the prose difficult to follow, tracing as they do a character's thought process and internalized feelings, rather than the spoken word. Terms to Know…
Beat Generation : group of American novels and poets who came to prominence in the late 1950s and early 1960s. American author Jack Kerouac introduced the term Beat Generation sometime around 1948 to describe his alternative friends and as a general term describing the underground, anti-conformist youth gathering then in New York. They were also known as the counter-culture. Poetry readings were a common forum for Beatniks to articulate dissatisfaction with societal constraints. Allen Ginsbergs poem HOWL illustrated what many mainstreamers viewed as the moral and social decay of the time. Groups such as the Beats were a part of a larger movement called the counter-culture. This movement led to the emergence of the hippies of the 60s. Hippies were dedicated to peace, love, and happiness and they endeavoured to expand their minds through the use of mind-altering drugs such as LSD The Beat Generation
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked... --Allen Ginsberg, Howl (1956) 1926-1997
Ken Kesey took part in scientific experiments at a hospital, Menlo Park Veterans Hospital, trialling LSD as a state-controlled mind- altering substance. At the time, LSD was thought that it could help those suffering mental disorders such as schizophrenia. It was not so effective as a medical tool as it induced hallucinations. To the counter-culture of the 1960s LSD was a good thing; it helped hippies to explore their own mind and expand their horizons. LSD
The Merry Pranksters Further Tom Wolfe Still ahead…
The Merry Pranksters were a circle of people with Ken Kesey at the center, living communally at his home in La Honda, California. Their acid tests were chronicled by Tom Wolfe in his non-fiction novel The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. They traveled across the United States in a psychedelically-painted school bus labeled Further. The trips original purpose was to visit the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York City.
Author Hunter S. Thompson remembered La Honda as "the world capital of madness. There were no rules, fear was unknown, and sleep was out of the question."
Inspiration for Cuckoos Nest came from Keseys time as a volunteer at MenloHospital. Kesey believed patients were not insane but that society had pushed them out because they did not fit the conventional ideas of how people were supposed to behave. Cuckoos Nest published in 1962, at the height of the Cold War. It was an immediate critical and popular success. Film adaptation in 1975 won eight academy awards. Kesey left production, two weeks after production began and never saw the film. Film centers on Jack Nicholsons rendition of McMurphy, and Chief Bromden loses his narrative powers.
Relevant vocabulary: Combine Existentialism Lobotomy Psychotic santiy Symbols: combine fog character names fishing trip prostitution medicine death sex (both action and gender) Bromden (both as a character and a symbol) Nurse Racheds body Relevant Motifs : Role of the narrator (and issues of voice) Conflict Notion of sanity Man versus the machine Individual v. Society (same thing?) Masculinity vs. Femininity Memory American dominance
Some images that McMurphy would have seen in his ward…