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Jack Kerouac and The Beat

Jack Kerouac, was born on March 12, 1922 in Lowell, Massachusetts, as the youngest of three children. Jack decided to be a writer after his brother Gerard died at the age of nine. From the life and death experience of his brother’s death, and the Catholic faith of his childhood, he developed a spiritual tendency in his character that would last throughout his life. The fact that Kerouac was a spiritual “seeker,” may be the most vital aspect of his life. In post WWII, Eisenhower America, Jack Kerouac came from a poor rustic industrial community to change the face of American Culture forever. He chronicled the wild rebellious culture of “the Beats” in the late 50’s and early 60’s, paving the way for a more accepting American Society and the tolerance of alternative lifestyles enjoyed today.

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As a Roman Catholic who grew up in Calvinist New England, Jack took in a double dose of guilt and sensitivity to sin. In his book Dr. Sax his first “bout with sexual desire, masturbation, is interrupted-in a virtual parody of crime and punishment- by the news that his dog had been hit by a car.” Jack probably could have handled this “double dose” trebled by the death of his brother. Jack gave up Catholicism early on, but carried inside him the “sad peasant mystery of Quebec Catholics “(59 Kerouac). The Catholic association of Kerouac’s thought are as plain as an idea of his total incompatibility with Catholicism, but sometimes mistaken for it” the idea that the suffering oppression are saintly”(17, Victor-Levy). Kerouac rejected materialism and liberalism of middle class America; for example he was not political or religious but emotional (Rumsey).

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…the Beats” in the late fifties and early sixties, paving the way for a more accepting American society and the tolerance of alternative lifestyles we enjoy today.

I.Introduction

II.America Prior to the Beats

A.Puritan Culture and Calvinism

B.Post WWII Culture

C. Consumption

D.Sacrifice for the Common Good

III.Kerouac’s Impacts on the Fifties and Sixties Through his Writings

A.Glorified Individuality

B.Promoted Cultural Diversity

C.Romanticized Alternate Lifestyles

D.Acceptance of Recreational and Personal Substance Abuse

IV.Society’s Alteration as a Result of Jack Kerouac

A.More Accepting American Society

B.the Romantic Vision of the American Rebel

C.Teen Rebellion

D.Popularized Aspects of Classic Literature

V.Conclusion

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