Were the Beats beaten : an investigation into the relationship between politics and art

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Corscadden, Brian
Issue Date
BA (Hons) Arts
Dublin Business School
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This Final Year Project will investigate the relationship between politics and art, with a specific focus on the Beat movement in America. I will investigate the aims Beat movement art in relation to the surrounding environment. I will examine the societal issues which two members of the Beat movement were influenced by, relating this to the reaction which manifested itself in their art, and will attempt to draw out a conclusion as to whether they were successful in their aims. The Beat movement were a literary movement which took place in the mid-20th century in America. Their influence extended outside of literature and influenced artists of a variety of artistic genres. Two of these genres were comedy and art. In this Final Year Project I will investigate the comedy of Lenny Bruce and the song writing of Bob Dylan, who were both affiliated with the movement. Through these individuals I will investigate their reaction to the predominant societal influences which later shaped their art. The predominant societal influences are was race-relations, drugs, sex, religion, the government and the media. Through this investigation I will draw out a conclusion to the question; were the Beats beaten?