On_the_Road_paper - 1 The Romantic Experience Professor...

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1 The Romantic Experience Professor Eykman 30 April 2008 The Beat Lifestyle: On the Road Versus Reality Jack Kerouac wrote the novel On the Road to portray his lifestyle with friend Neal Cassidy. He spoke of writing literature, the music they listened to, women and sex in their lives, and drug experimentation. Though all these elements were included, Kerouac focused mainly on women, as well as a sense of adventure and restlessness, commonly associated with the generation from 1950s America known as the Beat Generation. In doing so Kerouac did not defend this culture he was a part of, but instead seemed to strengthen the offensive views much of society had about this group of people, that they were lazy radicals and rebels in society. The Beat lifestyle was mainly an attempt at ultimate freedom and individuality. Most members of the Beat generation were defiant of societal views, especially with regards to sex and family, and lived precariously so as not to be tied down in any many. To conform to society would be restrictive. “…the Beats were seeking a new freedom through the honest baring of the soul, an expression of the subconscious self based on spontaneity and improvisation…” (Evans, 76). This longing for expression and spontaneity encouraged creativity and many travels, which are generally associated with the Beat lifestyle. Jack Kerouac emphasized this creativity and spontaneity throughout On the Road through the characters of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty, among other characters. In the beginning, Sal is impressed by Dean’s apparent uneducated intellect, even though it’s Sal who is the writer and working on several stories when Dean comes into his life. Perhaps the most evident suggestion of the spontaneity of the Beat lifestyle in Sal and Dean is their constant restless travels. The
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2 outcast pair manage to visit most of the North American “Beat metropolises,” including New York City, Denver, San Francisco, and Mexico City. In each city, Sal and Dean seem to establish lives for themselves, with places to live, women, and jobs. However, soon after becoming established, these men want to be on the move again, and never really settle down at any point in the novel. “What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the
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This note was uploaded on 06/06/2008 for the course GM 067 taught by Professor Eykman during the Spring '08 term at BC.

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On_the_Road_paper - 1 The Romantic Experience Professor...

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