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Big Sur

Big Sur


by Jack Kerouac

Big Sur Transformation Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #4

(but surprising everybody the night of the show by doing my job of reading just fine, which surprises the producers and so they take me out with a Hollywood starlet who turns out to be a big bore trying to read me her poetry and wont talk love because in Hollywood man love is for sale)... (6.1)

Jack's frustration with the superficiality of Hollywood is similar to his frustration with the way the "Beat generation" has been changed. It, too, has become popular, superficial – "for sale" even.

Quote #5

Looking up occasionally to see rare cars crossing the high bridge and wondering what they'd see on this drear foggy night if they knew a madman was down there a thousand feet below in all that windy fury sitting in the dark writing in the dark -- Some sort of sea beatnik, tho anybody wants to call me a beatnik for THIS better try it if they dare. (7.2)

Jack resents the fame he's earned as a writer and so-called "King of the Beat Generation." Dissatisfied with the popularized, commercial image of the beats, he seeks to carve out a new identity for himself.

Quote #6

This is the first time I've hitch hiked in years and I soon begin to see things have changed in America, you cant get a ride any more […]. Sleek long stationwagon after wagon comes sleering by smoothly […], the husband is in the driver's seat with a long ridiculous vacationist hat with a long baseball visor making him look witless and idiot -- Besides him sits wifey, the boss of America, wearing dark glasses and sneering, even if he wanted to pick me up or anybody up she wouldn't let him -- But in the two deep backseats are children, children, millions of children, all ages, they're fighting and screaming over ice cream, they're spilling vanilla all over the Tartan seatcovers -- There's no room anymore anyway for a hitch hiker. (10.3)

Yet another transformation explored in Big Sur – the changes in America from the 1940s and 50s to the 1960s. Jack certainly takes a critical – perhaps even cynical – view of his country.

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