Fri 5 May 2006
After reading and reflecting on the books we have read in this semester, I have found there to be a common theme of yearning for achievement. The three books that represents this theme the most are The Dharma Bums, The Electric Kool-aid Acid Test, and Maggie Cassidy. Although triumph is not evident in the books, the want to succeed in something ties these works of literature together. In The Dharma Bums, written by Jack Kerouac, Ray Smith is in search for peace of mind in order to graduate from his natural suffering state to read nirvana. The novel takes the readers on an adventure with Ray searching for his enlightenment. Ray finds peace of mind through experiences and meditation. In the novel Maggie Cassidy, also written by Jack Kerouac, the protagonist, Jack Duluoz wants to overcome adolescence. He searches for ways to grow up quickly, leaving his school boy days behind. Falling in love with Maggie Cassidy and discussing marriage at sixteen allowed him to mature quickly. Not only the talking about getting married, but the confusing and elaborate feelings he felt towards Maggie forced him to group up quickly. In the Electric Kool-aid Acid Test, a nonfiction work of literature by Tom Wolfe, takes readers on a journey with the Merry Pranksters on the road to achieve graduation from the acid test. The graduation was a plan for the Merry Pranksters to be able to get into the peaceful state of mind they could achieve on drugs, except without using drugs. They failed the test, the book ended with the line “We blew it!”.