Counterculture In Easy Rider

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Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider (1969) established the cornerstone of a new perspective of the West in the countercultural context. As John Ford used the literature for some of his productions, the counterculture gets some influences from the beat generation with authors and works such as Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957). The counterculture’s cultural products share the same fascination for the movement and express a general dissatisfaction towards the traditional community values. This new configuration fight against the traditional in a subtle way: “To rebel against (…) the Established Order and its values, (…) One must not collide with it head on, but rather exorcise it like a possession” , and this is exactly what Hopper does in Easy rider. …show more content…
You represent freedom.
B: What the hell is wrong with freedom?
G: Nothing is wrong with it, but talking about it and being it are two different things. Don't ever tell anybody they are not free because they will even kill you to prove they are. They will talk to you about individual freedom but if they see a free individual, they get scared and they become dangerous.

Easy rider constitutes a double journey in parallel worlds. In one hand, it is the ultimate search of freedom; and on the other hand, it is the search of America represented in the figure of the West: its substance, its matter, its identity. The experiences on the road will modify these concepts beyond their original shape. The counterculture opened a new spectrum of possibilities, ever since, the thematic range was broader then ever in the representation of the West. The Western in its different configurations had stereotyped the West for decades. This rigid framework collapsed with the arrival of the counterculture. The land do not represent any danger anymore, quite the opposite, the West appears as a place to discover, to experience in a sense of freedom. Individual heroes have no room anymore. Any individual can be a hero in their personal search of itself. The values linked to the West seem to reset and a new search of them starts. In Easy Rider, women do not have any important role, despite one of the pillars of the counterculture was to fight women right. The counterculture however was filled with important women characters and Easy Rider particularly served as inspirational film of later feminist stories such as Riddley Scott’s Thelma and Louise (1991). This new configuration brought a breakpoint in the representation of the American West, the fight against traditional modes of authority and the materialist interpretation of the American Dream changed also the way the West perceived and

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