Motorcycling Counterculture: Motorcycle as a Literary Metaphor Readings and Narratives from select Motorcycle Literature

*Jeremy Savio D’cruz and **Dr. Shanthichitra

*Department of English, Faculty of Science and Humanities, SRM University, Tamilnadu. India. E-mail:
**Department of English, Faculty of Science and Humanities, SRM University, Tamilnadu, India.


                Marlon Brandon’s“The Wild One” the outlaw motorcycle gang movie when released in 1953, ignited a new wave of rebellion and a sense of bohemian cultural anarchy among the working class citizens. This sudden explosion ignited a full blown moral panic for the elite classes, and the knowledge industry. Critics heralded this as another after effect of the post world war syndrome or the literary terminology the Angry Young Men Movement. In literature, motorcycles and the characters associated with them are often represented as outlaw spirits, delinquents, dangerous and who were menacingly disengaged from authority. Motorcycles are sometimes an escape; a way to chase away a bad marriage, a midlife crisis. Deconstructing the motorcycle, from a mere sense of transportation which has evolved to a state of exile, is a paradigm that is fundamentally tied up with  imperialism and the breaking away from this global power structure through the first wave of modernism . Society in its present state, continues to “strive for change”, owing to the mundane. This necessity for a “strive for change” has sought out the motorcycle as an outlet. In the process of finding this outlet, it has resulted in creating a counter culture.

Keywords: Counter-culture, Deconstruction, Modernism, Motorcycles, Imperialism.




InternationaleJournal of Mathematical Sciences, Technology and Humanities
6, Issue
3, Pages:  57 - 62