Jack Kerouac When initially venturing to find the perfect person for this report, I first looked at some very interesting people. I found most of these interesting people were, at second glance, not so fascinating. I don’t doubt that every one of them had a drastic impact on the world around them, but I found that none of these people suited the taste I was looking for. I needed a person who was not only interesting and beneficial to this world but also had a certain characteristic… I wanted this person to be ‘cool.’ I needed this distinction because I thought in order to do this report I needed to relate to this person in some way, and as a member of the younger generation, with unique views, I thought this quality would make it easier to relate to such a person. My search became frustrating because I could not find any particular person who fit my rubric as ultimately fascinating.
I wondered, “What exactly makes a person cool?’ In my deliberating I analyzed that word, cool, and thought, ‘Who better to do a report on than the one who revolutionized that word. Who, you ask may that be? Jack Kerouac, ‘The King of The Beats’, and one of the founding fathers of the Beat Generation. The American writer Jack Kerouac became the leading chronicler of the beat generation, a term that he used to label a social and literary movement in the 1950 s. After studying briefly at Columbia University, he achieved fame with his spontaneous and alternative writing style, particularly the novel On the Road (1957).
Allen Allen Ginsberg ALLEN GINSBERG Allen Ginsberg was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1926, to a Jewish Russian immigrant family. His father, Louis, was a published poet, a high school teacher and a moderate Jewish Socialist. His mother, Naomi, was a radical Communist who went insane and got institutionalized in early adulthood. While dealing with his mother's problems, he was struggling with his ...
After the success of this work Kerouac produced a series of similar novels, including The Dharma Bums and The Subterranean’s (both 1958), Doctor Sax (1959), Lonesome Traveler (1960), and Big Sur (1962).
His autobiographical works reflect a wandering life, with warm but stormy relationships and a deep social lack of expectation satisfied by drugs, alcohol, mysticism, and biting humor.
What Jack started was more than just a new style of writing; it was his revolutionary ideas that marked the beginning of a new generation. Jack Kerouac was a very special person he had qualities and abilities that made him stand out from other people. One quality that I feel made him very unique, was his ability to express his feelings through his writing. A good example of this is when Jacks father died. Leo Kerouac had stomach cancer and was dying a long painful death. At the same time Jack’s attempt at a marriage was failing.
Jack expressed his feelings of loss from this situation in his novel The Town and The City. Jack Kerouac was in a weak position at the time and he showed he was strong by writing how he felt.” … I knew Jack was a poet-genius, but I didn’t realize he had that enormous volume of patience and sit down ability to create like a big, huge, huge, huge, long novel… I didn’t realize he was that fluent and vulnerable…
I was astounded when I read the whole thing because it seemed like a reproduction of life as it was (Gifford 46).” Jack also had many other admirable qualities. He was very persistent. It took him seven years of nagging before his first book, On The Road, was published. Many people ridiculed his odd style of writing and often he was the tormented by critics. “I know jack didn’t show that the critics bothered him, but I remember seeing the look in his eyes when he read a bad review. It bothered him (Gifford 64).” There were many things about Kerouac that I find especially fascinating.
First I think it’s interesting how Kerouac struggled to lose his life long label as a dumb jock despite his obvious intellect. He was a star back on his high school football team and won some miraculous victories, securing himself a scholarship to Columbia University in New York. Being considered a jock Jack often was frustrated by people feeling and acting like they were smarter than him. “He tried surprisingly hard to lose that sweaty jock label, he’d show off how smart he was every chance he got (Gifford 26).” Another aspect of Kerouac that I find intriguing was his stand on the Vietnam War. Despite the ‘beatnik’s tereotype, Kerouac was a political conservative, especially when under the influence of his Catholic mother. As the beatniks of the 1950’s began to yield their spotlight to the hippies of the 1960’s, Jack took pleasure in standing against everything the hippies stood for.
Born on March 12, 1922, the youngest of three children in a French-Canadian family that had established itself in Lowell, Massachusetts, Jack Kerouac was by the age of ten already aiming to become a writer. His father ran a print shop and published a local newsletter called the Spotlight. Before long he began writing and producing his own sport sheet, which he sold to friends and acquaintances in ...
Lastly I found that Jack’s drug use was a major part of his life. Kerouac was a heavy drug user. He used marijuana regularly and was into speed and other heavier drugs. Although Kerouac thought that drugs increased his writing ability it was his drinking problem that ultimately did him in. “He’d come into the city once in a while, and we’d see him, but he didn’t want to come in because he thought he’d get too drunk for too long and get sick and pass out (Gifford 264).” Trying to live up to the wild image he’d presented in On The Road, he developed a severe drinking habit that dimmed his natural brightness and aged him prematurely. If ever given the opportunity to meet a man of Jack Kerouac’s caliber, I would make sure to value every second of conversation.
I would have many questions to ask him to get a better understanding of him and how he thinks. The first question I think I would ask him is if he was happy with the impact he had on the world. I would want to know if he was satisfied with the life he lived, or if he thinks he should have done more and lived it to its fullest extent. I would want to know what he regrets doing and not doing. More specifically I would like to know if he would have ever guessed that the outrageous behavior that set him apart in his generation would become mainstream like it is now. I think Jack would have some interesting ideas about the youth of today and the future.
Shadowlands is a love story based on the life of the author, writer, and lecturer Clive Lewis, known as Jack. Jack was an intellectual man who had a tough heart to protect him from what he feared the most, suffering. Jack struggled with the reasons for life sufferings; however, it was Helen Joy Greshem that brought an optimistic eye-opening experience into Jack's life that would help him ...
Lastly I would want to know if he was disappointed that his moral message has been all but lost in the twenty-first century. Jack Kerouac didn’t lead the best life someone could live. He was by no means a saint. He was something special though, a revolutionary.
His ideas sparked a new type of thinking with young people. The beatniks gave way to the hippies and Kerouac had a direct affect on modern liberalism. I can think of few people who deserve a biography more than he does. Although by no means did he lead a perfect life, Jack Kerouac lead a remarkable life.