Reflections on "Easy Rider" by Thanh Diep Truong
In the reading, Miller outlines several aspects of the hippie counterculture such as love, nonviolence, antimateralism, hedonism, the hippie lifestyles's political implications, environmental awareness, "droping out" of established society. I see most of his ideals in Easy Rider. For example, there was a simple of anti-materalism in the scene where Wyatt throws away his watch on the road. The two of them just need money to fill up their gas tanks, so they can travel around. They don't need any extra money or possessions. They don't need any thing fancy to wear or to eat. There is a group of hippies in the film having hard time to grow their own crops. They then prayed for "simple food for simple taste". Then they went to perform for food. They portray a lifestyle of freedom and love. They are not under any authority. They movie portrays them as a group of hippies who are willing to share food and love to one another.
Then comes the scene where Wyatt, Billy, and George go into a local restaurant in Louisiana. They are threatened and verbally abused by the local men in the restaurent. They now portray themselves as nonviolent and peaceful. They leave without saying anything to the men and any fighting nor confronting. There is only one comment from George which leads to his death later on, "This used to be a good country, I don't understand what went wrong with it". Because of this comment, he is killed by those men that night when he and the other two are sleeping. His sentence is significant in a way. It is symbolic statement of how many people (hippies) did not like the way things worked in America. It is saying the United States is not the way it was supposed to be anymore. It was about freedom, love, not war, fighting, and violence.