American Youth Culture

4 April 2015
A study of American youth culture with reference to literature.

The paper studies the rise and evolution of American youth culture over the last decade. This is achieved through a critical review of two literary works. The first is a novel called “On The Road” by Jack Kerouac and the second is the 1955 film, “Rebel Without a Cause.” Both plots are reviewed to show what they reveal about American youth culture. The paper continues with an exploration of American youth through the generations, beginning with the start of the 20th century, and it concludes with a look at the prevalence of youth culture in adult American society.
“”What’s wrong with these kids today? The inter-generational howl of frustration and confusion echoes down through the decades as those devastatingly cool and disdainful teenagers grow up, marry, and produce the next generation of rebellious teenagers. Because even though each generations comes of age with what it believes to be unique feelings of angst, despair and isolation, those agonizing emotions have tortured the young souls of every generation to emerge on the American landscape, at least over the course of the last century.

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Jack Kerouac’s On The Road is considered my many scholars to be the best novel to come out of the so-called beat generation. It is the story of Sal Paradise, an aspiring writer, and of his experiences on the road as he makes several trips across the country to meet friends in Denver and San Francisco.

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