Fri 5 May 2006
“That the only love can only be the first love, the only death the last, the only life within, and the only word… choked forever.”
Jack Kerouac, Maggie Cassady
What intrigued me the most about Jack Kerouac’s novel, Maggie Cassady, was the notion that one’s first love is the purest kind there is. In the quote above, Jack Dulouz prefaces the novel and the events to come by saying that in the end, what truly matter in life are the connections made between people. In this quotation, Dulouz speaks of the different variations of love and how he views them all. The “first love” represents the love form one’s parents when they are a child. This love is indeed the first, as it lays the foundation for important relationships in one’s life. The second segment of the quote deals with heartbreak. Unfortunately, love and relationships are never guaranteed, so one should understand the “death” that may often occur. Kerouac writes of “the life within” as one’s soul is the source of all interpersonal connections. When dealing with love, one should always remember their own self, for if you lose touch of yourself, love will ultimately suffer. The last part of the quotation speaks to the difficulty of expressing emotions such as love. The words seem to be “choked forever” since they can not even articulate such strong feelings. Throughout the novel, Dulouz struggles with the complexities of love and the confusion that it brings him. However, the complexities of love are balanced by his friendships with the other boys, for this is the purest love he has found. The sense of comradery and completely innocent, dispassionate love is crucial to Dulouz’s being. These friendships are the glue that holds people together. These are the connections that enable people to endure life’s many ups and downs.