The radical road to redemption : a prophetic outcry of American counter cultures

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Emily Louise Darnell (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Beth Huber

Abstract: The development of atomic weapons presented serious changes to the American way of life. Moral actions in accordance with this divine decree were seen as the path to salvation. While citizens had operated under the assumption that the government upheld the will of God and had the best interests of the people at heart, apocalyptic implications caused that belief to shift. The government now had the power to end the world. Salvation could only be ensured through its protection. In order to keep civilians from questioning the agenda of officials seeking a surge of military build-up propaganda was set into motion in order to promote a specific manner of behavior. Without having to explain their actions the government could maintain the idea that they were doing what was morally right, despite the apocalyptic repercussions they made possible. For this reason they promoted submissive behavior and oppressed American citizens. Allen Ginsberg and Mario Savio were two counter cultural figures in this country?s history who knew that the path being promoted would not lead to salvation. Rather than docile, unquestioning, and mechanical actions they sought to relay the sacred nature of individuality and free expression. Behaving as James Darsey?s conception of a prophet and Foucault?s specific individual they struggled to enlighten their audiences to an alternative way of life and the salvation it would provide. They provided those around them with the tools to create the changes necessary to achieve this freedom and redemption. Ginsberg and Savio were able to turn the machine imagery used in propaganda to perpetuate oppression against the government. By describing the lifeless drear of industry as opposed to the sacred vitality of the organic they helped others to understand how true salvation could be found.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
Allen Ginsberg, covenant, Mario Savio, prophetic, radical, rhetoric
Counterculture in literature
Social change -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997 -- Criticism and interpretation
Savio, Mario -- Criticism and interpretation

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