Beating on Against the Current Essay

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Beating On Against the Current “Each of us inevitable Each of us limitless – each of us with his or her right upon the earth, Each of us allowed the eternal purports of the earth, Each of us here as divinely as any is here” (Whitman 27). From out of the jazz soaked streets of New York City, arose a group of young poets and writers overwrought with the opportunity of their lives, and endeavored to capture its girth through the honesty and vulnerability of their words. These young bohemians would later lead the Beat Movement, which inspired young Americans throughout the county in their search for something more than the consumerism and conformity that plagued their society. Jack Kerouac’s On the Road is a transcendent work that…show more content…
Many found the bleakness and insignificance of modern society enough to merit both withdrawal and protest. Throughout On the Road, the influence of the Beat movement’s ideals on Kerouac’s writing is overtly apparent. As the narrator meanders up and down the country, both the main characters’, and the lone hitch hikers they pick up contain an attitude of restlessness which can be seen in their actions and speak. While hitching a ride from a farmer, as Sal and Dean prepare their story to tell the man, he stops them simply asking, “You boys going somewhere, or just going?” This so elegantly captures the internal state of the author coming out bluntly in the work. The beat idealism heavily places importance on personal discovery in any way possible, not necessarily knowing what that path looks like only knowing that you must travel to reach it. Kerouac was distraught with the complacency of living in one place, and set out with no real place to go, and as he writes in response to the farmer “we didn’t know the answer to the question, but it was a damn good question” (Kerouac). The 1940’s, post war America was looking up, the Great Depression was just coming to an end, but along with those that so eagerly bought into the consumerism of the time, arose a nation’s youth that was “alienated, restless, and dissatisfied.” looking for something to experience in a, “frenzied pursuit of extreme exacerbation of the nerves”. (Patrick Julian). On the
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