Jack Kerouac: Maggie Cassidy

(513 words)
  • R. J. Ellis (University of Birmingham)

Maggie Cassidy portrays the love affair of two teenagers living in Lowell: a French Canadian-American, Jacky Duluoz, and the Irish Maggie Cassidy. However, it is a story emphasizing not so much love’s eternality, as its fleeting precariousness.

Jacky and Maggie meet at a New Year’s Eve ball in 1938, and the novel traces the fumbling course of their love. Maggie is one year older than Jacky, and he feels that she is exerting pressure on him to bring to their relationship more commitment than he is prepared to offer whilst herself failing to completely clarify her own level of commitment. At first he pulls away whilst she presses, but progressively the roles come to be reversed. He draws closer to her, finally (…

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Citation:
Ellis, R. J.. "Maggie Cassidy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 April 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3772, accessed 30 August 2014.]