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Easy Rider -- Dillon Aretz

Easy Rider is a movie about the illusion of freedom. Costello writes, "the dream of freedom in this film is clearly an American dream." What then, distinguishes Wyatt and Billy's counterculture dream from the typical American dream. After all, they've scrambled for money so that they wouldn't have to worry about that anymore. Isn't that exactly what most Americans do when they save up to retire? The fact that they're still reliant on money--as opposed to the commune they run into at the beginning of the movie that survives on labor and working together--something that binds them to the current culture. Without severing all ties to the mainstream, they will only become victims of it. As Costello writes, "[Wyatt and Billy] are a warning for a counterculture that can't really be counter if it accepts the values of the dominant culture into which it enslaves itself." The freedom that the two motorcyclists represent is a false one: they live on the edge, with their long hair and bikes, but they still buy and sell from the mainstream culture, which makes them dependent on the mainstream.