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On the Road

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Introduction

Brianna Harden AP English Period 3 October 8, 2010 On The Road Jack Kerouac's exhilarating novel, On The Road, documents a group of young friends crisscrossing America while finding their 'kicks' in jazz, sex, drugs, and deep conversations on love, poetry, and passion. Exposing the underground "Beat" lifestyle of the 1950s, Kerouac highlights the defiance of a generation seeking the freedom promised by the American Dream while totally devoting themselves to instinct and emotion. Sal Paradise is a unique writer living off veteran benefits and his amiable aunt. He also narrates the novel with a curious wonder at his experiences of traveling the road. ...read more.

Middle

It is as if, the road turns his passion into fulfillment and the road is his souls journey to accomplishment. In Dean's perspective, the only way to explore the world is through journey because "the road must eventually lead to the whole world." On The Road takes place in the 1950s, a time when rapid paranoia controlled America and a new generation came to see society as un-real, hypocritical, greedy, and harmful to an individual's own creativity. Like Sal and Dean, we seem to judge them from the start of the book. Although not much is known about Sal, you do get to meet an astounding and interesting guy. ...read more.

Conclusion

Throughout the novel, Dean's behavior is portrayed sympathetically. Karouac suggests that Dean's actions are only the result of his quest for a pure life and that he can't be responsible for what the rest of the world may or may not view as criminal or irresponsible. Engaging in such behavior is the only way, as Sal and Dean see it, to find the true meanings of life, "it" as they call it, throughout the novel. For Kerouac, the body's natural appetites must take precedence over any legal or social ramification that might come about. Stealing cars, doing drugs, or engaging to sex are only expressions of the natural instincts of men who seek to live true and natural lives in the American Society. ...read more.

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