On The Road Essay

883 Words4 Pages
Jack Kerouac was born in Massachusetts, in 1922. Kerouac quit school and joined the Merchant Marine, starting the travels which would become ‘On the Road’ his most acclaimed novel. It is said to be an account of Kerouac's ("Sal Paradise’s") travels with Neal Cassady ("Dean Moriarty"). According to Allen Ginsberg, Kerouac typed the first draft of On the Road on a fifty-foot long roll of paper.

On the Road gave an outlet of release for the dissatisfied young generation of the late forties and early fifties. And although it has been fifty years since the events in On the Road, the feelings, ideas and experiences in the novel are still fresh as expressions of restless, idealistic youth who need something more than the
…show more content…
It is all focused on the hero, Dean Moriarty. The scene is established, with descriptions of Sal's life before he met Dean. Sal after splitting up with his wife and recovering from a serious illness feels depressed, tired and motionless. Sal has always dreamed of the West, which he has never experienced, when Dean, the personification of Sal's dream of the West, arrives and sparks everything into motion.

Throughout the novel there is a clear division of ideas of the East (intellectual, stagnant, old, saddened and critical) compared to the ideas of the West (passionate, young, exuberant and wild).

The characters in “On the road” are often described with the attributes of the places which they are from, or rather, Sal's idea of that place.

Sal thinks in descriptive and needless to say long, rambling sentences, like the way Sal and Dean and Carlo talk. The sentences have an abundant quality, cleverly incorporating the excitement and energy of the characters and events.

Sal describes his friends as earnestly as he can, yet seems to sometimes depict himself self-deprecatingly. He is the observer, often a little behind and at a distance. He's late starting west, and can't hitchhike and travel as easily as he thought, and ends up having to take the bus all the way to Chicago. While, the others, he imagines, are already there, having great fun.

The descriptions of

More about On The Road Essay

Get Access