The View from on the Road: The Rhetorical Vision of Jack Kerouac

By Omar Swartz | Go to book overview

6
The Vision of Sexuality

Extending from the general notion of social deviance is the more specific vision of sexuality. For Kerouac, human sexuality is one terrain on which the body becomes political. 1 In expressing social deviance, Kerouac redefines the norms of sexuality in 1950s America, reinventing a significant part of U.S. morality. In mid-century America, much human sexuality was considered a form of social deviance, as it is today (although less so), since sexual activity that falls outside of the traditional bounds of Christian morality is a potential threat to many cultural institutions--explaining in part the fierce resistance to homosexuality in many sectors of American society. Divergent forms of sexuality, particularly homosexuality, undermine many of the foundations upon which "normal" cultural practices are measured. Similarly, Dean Moriarty's sexuality can be evaluated in terms of its implicit threat to the larger social fabric. While ostensibly heterosexual, Dean's flagrant disregard for monogamous relationships-- unlike other forms of sexual transgression, such as "machoism "--undermines family norms and values, calling into question some of the basic moralities that structure our society. In no sense can Dean be seen as "macho," although there is a temptation to read him in that way. Dean does not simply have mistresses to emphasize his "manliness"; rather, Dean consumes women with such ferocity and mindlessness that other motivations have to be inferred. Dean is more than phallocentric; this "more" is a transcendence that also exceeds base forms of machoism.

Simply, Dean uses sex to transcend the constraints and limitations placed on sexuality by society. These constraints and limitations are not "repressive," however. Rather, they are "productive," as Foucault ( 1978)

-74-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The View from on the Road: The Rhetorical Vision of Jack Kerouac
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • Part One - Departures 1
  • 1 - Rhetorical Transformations 3
  • 2 - Kerouac in Context 15
  • 3 - Kerouac's Rhetorical Situation 27
  • 4 - Fantasy, Rhetorical Vision, and the Critical Act 43
  • Part Two - View from the Road 59
  • 5 - The Vision of Social Deviance 61
  • 6 - The Vision of Sexuality 74
  • 7 - Dean as Vision 82
  • 8 - Conclusion: Kerouac and Liminality 94
  • Notes 105
  • Bibliography 113
  • Index 125
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 134

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.