Of glory obscur'd : beatific vision in the narratives of Jack Kerouac

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dc.contributor.advisor Miller, William V. en_US
dc.contributor.author Ball, Vernon Francis, 1943- en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2011-06-03T19:22:48Z
dc.date.available 2011-06-03T19:22:48Z
dc.date.created 1976 en_US
dc.date.issued 1976
dc.identifier LD2489.Z64 1976 .B34 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/handle/handle/174915
dc.description.abstract The present study affirms that Jack Kerouac's individual narratives of his Duluoz Legend, as contained in thirteen of his key novels, serve as episodic chapters in which the archetypal hero voyages on a quest through beatific discoveries toward a final self-discovery, a beatific vision.The first two chapters of the present study examine the archetypal relationship between the Beat novel and. beatific vision, studying this vision under four of its root-aspects: American transcendentalism, Catholic apocalyptic writing, Dionysian fulfillment, and Buddhistic unconsciousness. Chapters three, four and five turn from the philosophical patterns of the Duluoz Legend to the more specific plot patterns of these thirteen novels, an archetypal quest pattern which is simultaneously a lament for a lost Eden, an initiation rite, and a monomyth, the single pattern of the journey quest which underlies all myth.The final seven chapters develop the beatific aesthetic as it patterns the Duluoz Legend through the key novels of Kerouac in specific terms of myth and archetype. Chapter six examines the first stage of development, the world child, as embodied in Visions of Gerard (1922-1926), in which the memory of the life of the dead child Gerard, saintly and unspotted and wholly innocent, touches his narrator-brother, Jack Duluoz, the protagonist of the Duluoz Legend, who is beginning a new spiritual life, a new quest. The second (adolescent) stage of initiation, is presented in chapter seven as embodied in Dr. Sax (1930-1936), in which Jack Duluoz moves from eight to fourteen years of age, living in a world of imagination and fears, mixing fantasy and reality, finally unmasking the shadow of himself. Chapter eight considers two novels which deal with the third stage of the archetypal quest, where the protagonist rejects worldly power (flesh, knowledge, action) and makes a crucial discovery of the unknown within the self: Maggie Cassidy, Springtime Mary (1938-1939) and Vanity of Duluoz (1939-1946). Chapter nine examines the Kerouac novels which cover the scape-goat figure of Cody-Dean (Neal) and the resultant auest: events covered horizontally in On the Road (1946-1950) and vertically in Visions of Cody (1944-1952). The realization--that the American dream represented by Dean (teal) can have no validity in the present-brings Duluoz to his fifth period, his descent into hell, the night journey of his soul. Chapter ten analyzes the two Kerouac novels which trace the progress of this night journey: The Subterraneans (1953) and Tristessa (1955-1956). Having returned from hell, shaken and alone, the questing hero is then ready to ascend the mountain to achieve a union with the cycle of nature, in which the narrator withdraws within himself to discover a divinity there and emerge a more self-confident teacher, a Shaman. Chapter eleven treats Kerouac's two novels which explore this union of the individual with the cycle of nature: The Dharma Bums (1955-1956) and Desolation Angels (1956-1957). It is from an anticlimatic mood which follows the descent from the mountain that the quester moves into his final phase, the ultimate discovery of the unknown. Chapter twelve of the present study examines the three Kerouac novels which deal with this theme: Big Sur (1960), Satori in Paris (1965) and Vanity of Duluoz (1968).Chapter thirteen examines the vision for which the protagonist searches cyclically in these thirteen novels: ultimately, ironically, emptiness, the Void at the core of existence, the empty eye of God in which all dualities are resolved into nothingness. The dual recognition and recording of life energy in the moment--the sustaining of the monomyth-is all that remains of man's efforts to form his own art of life. en_US
dc.format.extent vi, 425 leaves ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Beatific vision. en_US
dc.subject.other Kerouac, Jack, 1922-1969. en_US
dc.title Of glory obscur'd : beatific vision in the narratives of Jack Kerouac en_US
dc.description.degree Thesis (D. Ed.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url http://liblink.bsu.edu/catkey/414060 en_US


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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3210]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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