Literatura e contracultura: uma leitura política sobre The Dharma Bums de Jack Kerouac
Oliveira, Matheus Barbosa de
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This work has the purpose to analyze Jack Kerouac’s, The Dharma Bums (1958), using Fredric Jameson’s analytical method, as described in The Political Unconscious: The Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act (1992). Published in 1958, this narrative offer us a plot with critical reading to America that was built up until that time, since its characters, individual travelers (the bums), strive for experiences and world views away from the "American Way of Life", that is an ideal of life anchored in work and consumption. Narrated by Ray Smith, central character, the novel shows a look toward on the margin of American society of that period, out of to the behavioral patterns, thus revealing important critical elements that systematically look to the bases of the current sociocultural model. The distance of the urban area, in this sense, announces an intense search for nature, through roads and freedom – existential and spiritual – guided by pacifist and anticonsumerist positions that refer to the ethical conduct of the characters. In order to get such interpretation, we will undertake analysis through a dialectical movement, which starts from the presentation and examination of the manifest content, that is, the literary text itself, always in dialogue with the historical conjuncture, so that at last we access the mode of production and political criticism of its contradictions. Such inconsistencies are, to a large extent, symbolized by the exploratory work denied by the protagonists; work whose designs faces the citizenship and human dignity construction.