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The Iconic Impact of James Dean

James Dean became a cult figure in the 1950’s because he tapped a whopping generation gap no one else suspected even existed — not until Brando, Elvis, Hugh Hefner, and Dean triggered it. In East of Eden, Dean was a symbol of a generation which no longer had anything in common with its parents. Dean was worshiped for his youthful rebellion. A new generation discovered itself in the combined potency of Dean’s personality and author John Steinbeck’s situations.