The 60s was an era of rebellion, a groovy time were many teenagers had their hearts set on going to San Francisco to find themselves, and find the people who they could experience a new life with. This time of new experimenting and adventuring was highly associated with drug use, the most common drug during the time being LSD or Acid. Acid differs your perceptions on the things around you, and even on your life and the life of others, not only when you are on the drug but also off of it. This book explores a deeper understand of the drug and of the era of it's use.
A popular author of the time known as Ken Kesey is the main focus of our story, the narrator and every other character in the book tends to worship Kesey as their god. Kesey's most popular work being One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1962). Kesey and his group, the Merry Pranksters who were also highly associated with this era are a group of freedom activists who feel that it is necessary to explore new cultures, new meanings, and new drugs without feeling afraid to do so. Legalizing Marijuana and LSD plays a big role in doing this, and the Merry Pranksters really try to convince Kesey to publicize this, but he does not want to go back to jail. In the second chapter one of the Merry Pranksters talks to Kesey saying people are afraid to do Acid in the privacy of their own homes because they may get a knock from the police, especially on Ashbury-Haight. People are having bad trips because of this and these bad trips need to stop.
People that take Acid feel like they know more than people who refuse to take it. They feel like Acid is the key to unlocking the rest of their mind. Our mind is developed by the society around us, and our mind develops at the rate that the government and the corporations set for us, that is a continuous theme in this book so far. Acid can help us escape this society around us and help us see the truth. People like Kesey who have taken Acid, and even Peyote have experienced these mental processes and have even been analyzed by psychiatrists. Who are the outsiders of the 1960s? Are the outsiders the people that are taking the LSD, and refusing to cooperate with the law and order around them? Or are the outsiders "the man." "The man" was a term used during this time referring to the one in charge, it could refer to a parent, an authority figure of the law, a cooperation, etc. Does Kesey really believe that he has "graduated from LSD." Or is it all a big hoax so the law will get off his back? I'm sure I will be discovering the truth within reading the next couple of chapters.