Jack Kerouac Essay, Research Paper
Written in Kerouac s distinctive emotion-driven writing, On the Road exemplifies the attitude of the beat era and brings to life the adventures of the most realistic beat of all, Jack Kerouac. The book stirs the soul with its constant poetic flow and can be related to, by anyone. Like most of Kerouac s writings, On the Road is based on the adventures he had continually roaming about the United States in the late 1940 s. Kerouac is the narrator in the novel and disguises himself under the alias of Sal Paradise. The characters he encounters, the situations in which he is involved, the scenery he passes are all described with inconceivable clarity, pungency and plausibility. Riding with farmhands, hitchhiking with Eddie , and partying in Cheyenne, Wyoming are just a few of the high points that lead Sal to Denver, where he hopes to catch up with his old friend Dean Moriarty.
As the novel moves into part two the novel becomes something of a grab bag. Kerouac continually tries to describe the scenery in the various states he and Dean pass through in Dean s car. Often, he does a wonderful job. His intricate descriptions of the places where they stopped to eat and get gas, the hitchhikers they pick up, and the run ins with the police all seem credible. But, there is a noticeable drop in the amount of action, and this causes quite a letdown from the once great energy that was poured out in part one. However, while the details may seem plausible at some points, there are many times when Kerouac, instead of giving glib, vivid portrayals, seems to be rushing through the scenes; such as the section where Dean and Sal stay with the woman coal truck driver, Frankie, and her poetic thirteen year old daughter. At other points Kerouac becomes a rambling and overemotional fool. There are other times, when Kerouac allows himself to begin speaking in spiritualist mumbo jumbo as when he is attempting to describe an out of body experience while going mad with hunger.
I don t believe there has ever been any other writer in this century that loved America, the green and golden rolling hills, the copiousness, the enthusiasm, the sheer idea of America, more than Jack Kerouac. This book is not for everyone, but this book is to be experienced by those who seek something other than the everyday life they are used to living. While this book doesn t provide all the answers to living, it does remind us that it is worth going out and looking for those answers; the search is as important as whatever truth we eventually find. Kerouac creates a rushing, boundless novel whose energy is inspiring and infectious. After reading this book I wanted nothing more than to grab a rubsack and hit the countryside more than ever. While most autobiographies are arrogant and pretentious, I felt that Kerouac escaped that mold, and gave America a look into the truth.
On the Road has little in the way of a plot or character development. The novel is a chaotic narrative giving the details of an evanescent journey of friends across the country. It is a kind of literary free fall through the world of limitless possibilities that the open road has to offer. On the Road is a novel that is still worth reading today; a novel that vividly captures something