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Easy Rider Response - Jon Marshalla

One of the main themes of Easy Rider and the counterculture of the '70s was love. Love is the answer to everything. If everyone loves each other, all of the worlds problems will disappear and there will be no more conflict. This was shown throughout the movie and culture as an expression of non-violence. The main characters are simply out to enjoy and appreciate life and people and have no desire for any conflict. They pick up a hitch hiker, make new friends at every stop, and never once show any aggression. The same does not hold true for others that they encounter. This love filled lifestyle worked until it began to scare those in "the establishment." The police they encountered saw them as trouble makers, they were attacked in their campsite and ultimately killed. In his article The Ethics of Cultural Opposition, Miller states that "given the problems with the noble idea of love, perhaps it is not too surprising that some counterculturists found the entire idea hopeless [but], the majority, however, were dedicated to peace and love. Love, after all, was all you needed." (Miller, 106). The movie portrays this lifestyle in a positive context, but it also shows the problems they encounter. They were causing no problems, yet both were shot in the end because of how they looked and what they represented.