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Jack Kerouac; American Revolutionary

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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 1950s. After studying briefly at Columbia University, he achieved fame with his spontaneous and alternative writing style, particularly the novel On the Road (1957). After the success of this work Kerouac produced a series of similar novels, including The Dharma Bums and The Subterraneans (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



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