Post World War II literature continued the themes of disillusionment that began in the "Lost Generation" Post WWI writers.
African American Writers continued the themes begun in the Harlem Renaissance Post WWI, but with more demanding and angry tones. The main themes were the clash between industrialized and indeginous people, the evils European colonialization, and pride in the African past.
Modernists focused on exploring everything that had previously been tabu. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger are two examples. Modernism is a reaction to class structure and Victorian values and tastes. The two main themes in modernist writing are questioning the "rightness" of Enlightenment thinking and questioning the existence of an all powerful creator. Joseph Heller (Catch-22) and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five),
Beat writers focused on the highly romantic view of the downtrodden. This style became a spiritual philosophy. It focused on anti-materialism and exploring one's spiritual existence. Famous beat writers are Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and later Bob Dylan. The beat movement influenced musicians and later in the 60's the "Hippie" movement. Beatles and Pink Floyd are musical groups that were heavily influenced by the Beat poets.