You are sitting at the biggest concert of the year with all your friends. This band is the music of your generation. You scan the crowd, and everyone is dressed like they shop at the same store. It is comforting to be part of a group, one of the crowd, embracing the mainstream culture.
But sometimes you are sitting in the crowd, and you feel out of place. You want to be different. This too is part of the human condition. People who rebel against the mainstream culture and start their own traditions in music, art, and values, start what we call countercultures.
For this activity you will enjoy discovering something about two or three countercultures that interest you. To do this:
Select an author from one of the subcultures listed below (or another subculture you are aware of) and read/annotate one or more works by that author.
- Beat generation (Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, Frank O’Hara)
- Hippies (Richard Bach, Terrence McKenna, Hunter S. Thomson, Jim Morrison, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan)
- Feminists (Joni Mitchell, Margaret Atwood, Joan Didion, Louise Erdrich, Erica Jong, Barbara Kingsolver)
- Generation X (Douglas Copeland, Jay McInerny, Chuck Palahniuk )
- Hip-hop (Tupac Shakur, Sister Souljah, LL Cool Jay, Queen Latifah, Beastie Boys)
Select an author from a different subculture listed above (or another subculture you are aware of) and read/annotate one or more works by that other author.
Using this Venn graphic organizer , outline the similarities and differences between the subcultures based on what the literature tells you about them. List details of one piece of literature on the left and the other on the right. In the middle, list the details common to both pieces of literature. List at least 12 points of contrast and at least 6 points of comparison on your diagram. Consider carefully:
- Descriptions of characters
- Plot events
In a paragraph or two, draw conclusions about how literature defines any culture (or in this case counterculture). What tools do authors have that make them able to portray the essence of their culture?
Create a Works Cited page using MLA format that lists your sources. Refer to the Using the MLA Style Manual