On the Road Essay

2385 Words Mar 28th, 2013 10 Pages
Nicholas J Cheaney
Dineen
AP-Lit Man City
10 Dec 12 Beating the Beat In the 1940s the Beat Generation sprung up and took the nation by storm. Many people in their later teenage years started to become “rebels” to what society thinks. This rebellious lifestyle sparked various different views; those that look up to them, and those that look down upon them. Jack Kerouac plays a major role in this time period pertaining to this lifestyle, authoring many works about it, one being On the Road. He uses the characters in this story to depict the diverse views on the Beatniks. This strong interpretation used throughout the novel sets the stage for many other authors writing on behalf of the Beat Generation. The characters he uses in this
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Kerouac urges the reader to approach this philosophy of Deans with care and caution. Sal and Dean take one final road trip to Mexico in hopes of finding “it” or what they have been looking for throughout their lives. During this road trip, Dean becomes so caught up in the Beat Lifestyle that he no longer takes into consideration anything other than it. Dean’s selfishness is truly shown and extended finally to Sal as he leaves Sal a second time; this time in Mexico City. Sal has come to the realization that Dean was not ready to put his family obligations over this freedom he has of the road, and Dean’s transformation is complete. Then Sal and Dean’s paths diverge in the end and Sal realizes he has more to live for than just moving constantly. Sal Paradise’s constant trips across America represent a consistent and underlying struggle to find his identity. Sal’s fascination with interesting people and new experiences sparks his desire to travel across the country and live with Remi in San Francisco. Sal is originally depicted as a working class student who is beginning to separate from his student-like ways. The identity struggle that Sal faces is also a progression of change into the Beat lifestyle, much like Dean, to where he no longer can grasp who he truly is. During the time Sal spends with Dean in

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