StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Beat Generation - Essay Example

Nobody downloaded yet

Extract of sample
Beat Generation

When the play begins, the black man, Clay, is alone in a subway rail car. The stage directions imply that the beautiful white girl, Lula, has set her sights on him for reasons that should become clearer as the play progresses. She stares at him, and when he catches her eye, "begins very premeditatedly to smile" (4). He returns the smile "for a moment, without a trace of self-consciousness" (4). A little later he appears to regret this "instinctive" if "undesirable" (4) response and only becomes more confident when the train moves on and he hopes to be left to savor the pleasant memory of this "brief encounter" (4) by himself. Lula, however, seeks him out and takes a seat beside him, greeting him with a "Hello" (5). After accusing him of staring at her, of taking mental "potshots" of her "ass and legs" (7) she reveals in her first significant statement that she had boarded the train with the express intention of tracking him down: "I even got into this train, going some other way than mine. Walked down the aisle. . .searching you out" (7). This makes clear the fact that Lula had deliberately set her sights on Clay that day, for premeditated reasons of her own. In a sense, she seems to have made up her mind to hunt him down.
Clay is pleasantly aroused by the attention of this beautiful woman although he cannot make her out. She appears to know quite a bit about him. Nevertheless she disavows all previous knowledge of him as individual, and very confidently declares that she knows his type "like the palm of my hand" (17). She appears to believe in giving fair warning, as the following words of another very significant statement will show:
LULA. ...
(She feints a seriousness to cover an actual somber tone.)
I lie a lot.
It helps me control the world. (9)
This seems to be a very prescient bit of self-knowledge on her part. Control of her surroundings, including the people around her, seems to be an important consideration with her. Right from the moment she first trained the telescope of her sight on Clay, she has tried quite hard to control this stranger who in her words, "could be a handsome man" (12).
When Lula ridicules Clay's westernized manner of dress, it is plain to the audience if not to Clay that she is an unabashed black-basher. In fact, she is almost openly abusive when she snaps at him for wearing a " three-button suit": "What right do you have to be wearing a three-button suit and striped tie Your grandfather was a slave, he didn't go to Harvard" (18). However, Clay does not reply in kind to this, he is content to merely set the record straight about his grandfather-"My grandfather was a night watchman" (18). He self-deprecatingly tells her that, in college, "I thought I was Baudelaire" (19). She gives a biting retort: "I bet you never thought you were a black nigger" (19). Clay "is stunned"(19) at this, but quite sportingly, "he quickly tries to appreciate the humor" (19) while Lula "almost shrieks" : "A black Baudelaire" (19).
Lula's only intention all along was to manipulate and humiliate Clay within the confines of the subway car and, if possible, outside it, too. She first seduces his attention, and then, perhaps feeling that he was not sufficiently under her control, tries to excite him sexually. When he refuses to ...Show more


America in the 1960s was an arena of racial and communal conflict. LeRoi Jones explores this volatile situation in his play Dutchman(1964) through the words, actions and interactions of Lula and Clay who, at first glance, might seem to be rather obvious representations of either side of the racial divide…
Author : okunevamaddison
Beat Generation essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Beat Generation"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

Poems by Allen Ginsberg and Walt Whitman
The power of poetry is deeply indebted to the direct communication with the readers. One can see that poets make use of their works as a mouthpiece to express their viewpoints to those who interested in poetry. From a different angle of view, poetry follows the oral tradition/folklore/folktales in literature.
3 pages (500 words) Essay
The Beat Generation and the Sixties
However, within this calm, the seeds for the cultural and social revolution of the 1960s were sown, in the form of the Beat generation. The Beat generation was post World War II youth, especially writers, who were prominent in the 1950s. The generation and the literature that it developed has been extensively debated by academics and journalists .
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Reaction to Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road
These were youth who were confused in the conflict that their world was facing at that point and time and they just wanted to find their own way and their own identity. John Clellon Holmes expresses that the Beat generation always seemed occupied in feverish activities which were sometimes stupid.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Beat Generation
“Howl” as Ginsberg maintains, has its “own charisma” and needs “no explanation for inclusion” (xvii) in this volume of poems chosen by the poet himself. An analysis of the poem makes clear that the poem admirably fulfills the three criteria set by the poet,
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Beat Generation
Jack Kerouac came up with the phrase “Beat generation” and he was well known both positively as well as negatively as a “beatnik” writer for the majority of his short but productive career.
9 pages (2250 words) Essay
What do Howl and On the Road have in common What specific features make them part of the canon of beat literature
For this, the paper will compare both pieces of work in terms of certain elements that form a part of beat literature. To begin with, the term ‘beat
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
The Cultural and Social Influence of Kerouac (on the road)
ht of a single appraisal in a local daily, that year.As Anna Hassapi comments in her book review that the “beat generation” had a single subject of interest, that being life.Sal Paradise states about the holiness of life and how each and every moment should be cherished.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Write a CRITICAL essay examining Beat Poetry by analyzing the work of at least two authors associated with this school of poetry
They came up with poetry writing styles that defied conventional writing (Caruaru 98). Several drugs were used by the beat generation members. Such drugs included alcohol, bhang, morphine
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
They railed against the stifling prudery of their parents’ generation. The term ‘beat’ refer to the new culture that came with the beat generation characterized by rejection of received
2 pages (500 words) Essay
The members are characterized by impulsivity, having been brought up during a time of depression, they actually uphold individualism as opposed to collectivity. The girl mentioned in paragraph one is a marijuana user at eighteen years and does not
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Hire a pro to write
a paper under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Contact Us