The Portable Beat Reader - Three Commentators on the Beat Generation Summary & Analysis

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Three Commentators on the Beat Generation Summary

Norman Mailer's essay "The White Negro" begins with Mailer arguing that World War II forced all of humanity to confront the darkest parts of the human condition. Mailer writes that Beats, or "hipsters" as he calls them, originate by rebelling from the postwar conformity. To avoid conformity, hipsters adopt the styles of African-Americans who are kept out of mainstream American culture by force. Mailer contends that hipsters are psychopathic but also philosophically aware of the fact that they are psychopathic. Hipsters and African-Americans are forced into this position because they are hated by American society. Hipster slang is focused on movement because nothing good for the hipster is static. According to Mailer, the ultimate morality for the hipster is to do what he wants when he wants to do it.

In his essay...

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This section contains 446 words
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Buy The Portable Beat Reader Study Guide
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