The Concept of Vulnerability in Memoirs of a Beatnik and On the Road Essay

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The Beat Generation: Vulnerable Victims or Inviolable Individuals?
The Concept of Vulnerability in Memoirs of a Beatnik and On the Road

Vulnerability is often one-dimensionally viewed as the degree to which mishaps, pain and shame are allowed to enter into one’s life. However it is also the birthplace of creativity and basis for a feeling of self-worthiness. Thereby vulnerability creates authenticity. There are various different definitions of vulnerability according to the field in which the term is used. The most commonly found dictionary definition states that “Vulnerability refers to the susceptibility of a person, group, society or system to physical or emotional injury or attack. The term can also refer to a person who let
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Therefore she is not indifferent towards the whole situation even though her dealing (“the game was cool”) leads to assume that it is. The game was cool – she never says that she was cool in that sense, but she is playing the game, despite her real feelings, or even more plausible to numb her real feelings and hide them “in some deep place, quite out of reach” (69). The feelings remain underneath this surface throughout the novel, only very rarely it happens that the cool facade crackles. The first real emotional outburst that indicates the protagonists vulnerability becomes visible only shortly after the rape but cannot be linked to the act in the sense of a delayed realization of what had happened to her. She cries about the loss of her best friend and lover Tomi. It does not seem to be the delayed moment were all her emotions that she buried so deep down burst out, there is no shame or memorizing the rape scene, the scene unfolds more like an innocent farewell of a child that has to part with a sibling. The feeling of disconnection is visible in its essence, but it is not linked to shame or vulnerability that a reader would expect from the highly unordinary experiences the protagonist had faced before this scene.

Also the image of blood is being subverted in many different places throughout the novel. When DiPrima loses her virginity, she eats