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Easy Rider And The Counterculture Essay

748 words - 3 pages

The movie Easy Rider, released in 1969, would come to represents the Counter Culture?s ideals and its tragic flaws. Easy Rider?s anti-heroes, Wyatt and Billy enshrined the youth movement of the late 60s and early 70s. However, Wyatt and Billy were not revolutionaries. ?[Billy] is probably like the majority of those who grew up in the 60s who enjoyed the party, but who were ultimately concerned with personal survival rather than social change.? (Easy Rider, Lee Hill. p.35.) Wyatt was not concerned with social or political movements; he sought personal freedom over material pleasures. The Counter Culture by 1968 had been assimilated by mainstream American and with that it changed from an ideological struggle to an excuse to party and indulge. This shift combined with an increase of violence would cause many of the Counter Culture to reevaluate their way of life, and ultimately end the Counter Culture. Wyatt, Billy, and the Youth Movement ?Blew it? caught up in their own desire for freedom and money. They were blind to the truly important things until it was too late, when the establishment would retaliate.Wyatt and Billy?s search for a better way of life is doomed from the beginning by their own ignorance and the establishment?s violence. Looking for personal freedom though money, they mistakenly use material possessions as their sole path to freedom. Wyatt and Billy reach happiness when they meet George Hanson. ?The brief time the two bikers spend with George represents the closest they come to attaining the sense of community that is missing in so much of the country they travel through.? (Easy Rider. p. 48.) However, even Hanson can not save them from America because the violence and ignorance against the Counter Culture is too strong. ?The death of George Hanson turns their road trip into a race towards oblivion.? (Easy Rider p. 50.) From that moment on Wyatt and Billy immerse themselves in their worse attributes: Billy consumes and tries to artificially lift his spirits and Wyatt becomes introverted constantly mourning over Hanson?s death. The bad trip and random killing of Wyatt and Billy are extensions of the hell the violence of the establishment has created for them. ?the idealism of the 60s, like the...

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