“The Hippies and Easy Rider.”
Describe who the hippies were, what they believed in, and why, after a period of “beat” incubation, their movement erupted with such force in the second half of the 1960s.
Part II should describe how the movie Easy Rider (filmed in 1968, released in mid-1969)
reflected the hippie movement. What hippie beliefs, tastes, and behaviors (especially as
catalogued by Rorabaugh) turned up in the movie? Are Captain America, Billie, and George
hippies? If so, do they know they are hippies, or are they just vagabonds doing their own thing, oblivious to all social movements? More, if they are hippies, do they represent the same kind of hippies? Do the differing character traits among them suggest differences and tensions within the hippie counterculture? Can you relate those differences and tensions to the readings?
Part III should assess the legacies of the hippies. Were the hippies (and the heroes of Easy Rider) colorful fossils of a bygone era, or did they portend and trigger lasting changes in American (or even global) society and culture? If so, what were those changes and were they for good or ill?