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Mass Society in The Dharma Bums and also The New American Poetry One of the best ways to fully comprehend an era is to study its own literature. The printed word has got the extraordinary capacity to both reflect and shape the hopes, fears, and ideologies of their moment. This is extremely evident when studying literature from 1960's America, a turbulent phase in the history of our country. While the writers' styles are extremely different, you will find definite thematic patterns and characteristics evident in many of their works. For one, there's a widespread idea of the centuries. This notion serves as a foil for the educated few frequently represented as the main personalities and more especially since the authors themselves. There also appears to be a general questioning of the "American Dream" and a very clear conflict between science and nature. By viewing these common thematic parts, not only will we better understand the literature of the moment, but we could also get a fuller picture of this age itself. Among the most intriguing theories in 60's literature is that of bulk culture. And while this belief is evident in lots of the writings, the treatment of this is different from writer to author. Richard Brautigan chooses to show the poor masses in his piece "Trout Fishing in America". He writes, "...individuals gather in the playground throughout the road by the church and they are hungry. //It is sandwich time to the bad." (280,Streets) Donald Berthelme in his work "The Glass Mountain" requires for the masses, "acquaintances"(284, Streets). He reveals them for being a drunk and unruly lot who yell profanities at him because he attempts to scale the construction. Lawrence Ferlinghetti mentions an "unlonely crowd"(130,Poetry) from his po...